Question – Road safety involving crane lorries (Lo Wai-Kwok)

Following is a question by Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok and a written reply by the Secretary for Transport and Housing, Professor Anthony Cheung Bing-leung, in the Legislative Council on January 8:


It has been reported that on September 14 of last year, the crane of a crane lorry in motion hit a directional sign which was six metres above the ground, paralyzing the traffic for more than two hours, and less than a month later, the crane of another crane lorry running on the road snapped two overhead cables of the Light Rail System, causing disruption of the Light Rail service for several hours. Regarding road safety involving crane lorries, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of traffic accidents in the past five years involving crane lorries the cranes of which had not been folded properly and the resultant casualties;

(b) whether it will tighten the safety measures for regulating crane lorries running on the road; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) as some members of the engineering sector have pointed out that fitting warning flashers on crane lorries to remind drivers and crane operators to pay attention to the height of the crane may reduce accidents, whether the authorities have considered requiring that all crane lorries be fitted with such safety device; if they have, of the details and the implementation timetable; if not, the reasons for that?



My reply to the various parts of the question raised by Ir Dr Hon Lo Wai-kwok is as follows:

(a) According to the record of the Transport Department (TD), in the past five years (from January 2008 to November 2013), there was only one minor traffic accident involving crane lorries while in operation, causing minor injury to one person. TD does not maintain the record of traffic accidents not involving casualties.

(b) and (c) Appropriate regulations are already in place to ensure the safety requirements for crane lorries running on roads. All commercial vehicles (including crane lorries) running on roads must undergo and pass the vehicle examination prior to the first registration of the vehicles and annually thereafter in order to ensure that the vehicles are roadworthy and only on-board mobile industrial equipment is securely installed. It is also stipulated under regulation 6 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap 374A) that the overall height of a crane lorry when running on roads (including the load and equipment it carries) must not exceed 4.6 metres. In addition, crane operators of crane lorries must comply with the training and qualification requirements as stipulated under the Factories and Industrial Undertakings Ordinance (Cap 59). After lifting operation, crane operators should fold the crane to avoid exceeding the height limit of 4.6 metres.

If a crane lorry owner needs to install warning flash lamps for his crane operation, he can apply to TD which may, upon receipt of his application, permit one or more warning flash lamps showing amber light to be installed on his vehicle in accordance with regulation 111 of the Road Traffic (Construction and Maintenance of Vehicles) Regulations (Cap 374A).

Regarding enforcement actions, regulation 58 of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations (Cap 374G) provides that the driver of a motor vehicle on a road shall ensure that the motor vehicle, all its parts and accessories, and its load shall be such that no danger is caused or is likely to be caused to any person; or no damage is caused or is likely to be caused to a road or to public or private property. Otherwise, he commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for three months on first conviction. Regarding the two cases mentioned in the question, the Police have already completed investigation on the first case happened in September 2013 and will prosecute the driver concerned. As for the case happened in October 2013, police investigation is still underway.

Moreover, TD will remind crane lorry owners, drivers and crane operators to take greater heed of and observe the safety regulations on the use of lorries through publicity and education. TD regularly meets with the goods vehicle trade and issues the “Goods Vehicle Trade Newsletter” from time to time to promulgate messages on the safe operation of crane lorries and safe use of cranes.

Given that appropriate safety measures to regulate crane lorries running on roads have already been in place and that TD communicates with the trade via publicity and education, the Government has no plan to tighten the safety measures for crane lorries running on roads but will continue to monitor the situation.


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