The Transport and Housing Bureau (THB) has defended its misleading response to a LegCo question yesterday, claiming Secretary for Transport Frank Chan Fan told no lie in saying the government had “no data” on accident rates amongst food delivery cyclists when in fact it does.
Lawmaker Priscilla Leung had raised a question on safety, claiming many road accidents were being caused by food delivery cyclists. “There are often takeaway food couriers cycling in urban areas on roads in the opposite direction of the traffic or on pavements, causing dangerous situations frequently,” she claimed, pressing for accident figures which might prove her assertions.
In fact, government figures, released last year at a joint police and Transport Department (TD) press conference, show only 1% of bicycle injuries in the first nine months of 2020 (the latest data available) were attributed to food delivery cyclists.
But in a written response to Leung’s LegCo question, the Secretary appeared ignorant of these figures, claiming “The Government does not have breakdown figures of cycling accidents on cycle takeaway food couriers.”
When asked about the disparity between Chan’s response and the police/TD data, a THB spokeswoman said the data available was “just referring to the first three quarters of 2020, it is different from the context of our reply to the LegCo question which stated that we do not have the yearly breakdown figures of cycling accidents on cycle couriers.”
The spokeswoman said there would be no yearly data unless the police conducted another study.
Martin Turner, chairman of Hong Kong Cycling Alliance, said the government’s lack of interest in collecting and providing cycling data was longstanding.
“While Transport Department’s annual surveys of other traffic deliver the detailed data necessary for making policy – on specific vehicle types at specific locations and across all aspects of journey nature, vehicle usage and user expectations – the coverage of cycling is pitiful, barely stretching beyond recorded deaths and injuries,” he said.