Law and Enforcement


The electric SUV involved in last night’s fatal crash is described by its maker as “lightning quick”

Police last night arrested a 49-year-old driver after a fatal Mong Kok crash involving a high-speed electric SUV.

Victim Mr Chan, 53, was crossing Tung Choi Street near Nullah Road at 9.01pm when he was struck by Hyundai driver Mr Yip.

Chan was dragged under the car and trapped, bleeding with a severe head wound. He was rescued by emergency services and taken to Kwong Wah hospital where he was certified dead at 9:57pm.

Yip was arrested for dangerous driving causing death and is being detained.

The Hyundai Kona electric SUV which crushed Chan is advertised by Hyundai as “lightning quick” and weighs around half a tonne more than its basic petrol version.

No information is available from Hyundai on the pedestrian impact safety of the car and the model was last tested by the European New Car Assessment Programme (EuroNCAP) – a respected authority in pedestrian crash safety – in 2017, before the electric model was available.

That lighter petrol version then scored just 62% in the pedestrian safety category.

While Hong Kong authorities have approved 216 electric vehicle models as safe for Hong Kong streets, road safety experts and officials globally have expressed concerns about the weight and power of electric SUVs. In January, the head of the US National Transportation Safety Board, Jennifer Homendy, said there was an “increased risk of severe injury and death for all road users from heavier curb weights and increasing size, power, and performance of vehicles on our roads, including electric vehicles.”

A study in the US found 100% of 40mph pedestrian crashes involving SUVs to be fatal, against 54% for regular cars at that speed.

Meanwhile the street scene were Chan was killed is an all-too familiar catalogue of pedestrian danger.

Tung Choi Street is a straight four-lane one-way urban street with no traffic calming measures, while visibility for pedestrians is poor and crossings are limited – there are no crossing facilities for pedestrians in the 300-metre stretch between Fife Street and Nullah Road where Chan was killed.

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