Man's death in road accident arouses concerns over Hong Kong rioters' massive vandalism of traffic lights

2019-12-06 Xinhua Editor:Li Yan

A man's death due to a road accident at a junction where traffic lights were damaged has aroused concerns in Hong Kong that the vandalism of hundreds of traffic lights by rioters is threatening the public safety.

In the accident on Wednesday at a junction in the Tin Shui Wai neighborhood of Yuen Long District, a 68-year-old man in an electric wheelchair was knocked down by a light goods vehicle while crossing the road, who was declared dead after being rushed to hospital, according to the Hong Kong police.

The traffic lights at the junction where the accident occurred, as well as many others at busy junctions in the neighborhood, have been damaged for a period of time, Chiu Sau-han, a member of the Yuen Long District Council whose office is near the site of the accident, told Xinhua on Friday.

Before and after the accident, some residents in the area have complained to the district council member about the damage of traffic lights in the area, Chiu said.

"In the vicinity of these junctions are markets and light rail stations. It's really dangerous for the residents, particularly the elderly and children, to cross the roads without working traffic lights," she added.

According to Chiu, many traffic lights in the neighborhood were damaged by black-clad rioters and then repaired by the government in September, but was sabotaged again during assemblies and demonstrations thereafter.

"Many residents have expressed hope that the damaged traffic lights will be repaired soon, but the latest round of vandalism was even worse, so it may take a long time for them to be repaired," she said.

The Transport Department of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government told Xinhua that about 730 sets of traffic lights in various districts of Hong Kong have been damaged to various degrees since June.

The damage to the traffic lights in October and November was more serious than that in the past, the department said, adding that a number of controllers and components were damaged or even burnt, so the repair progress has been affected as cables have to be replaced.

The department said it has been conducting months of continual repair works. As of Thursday morning, about 60 sets of traffic lights were still under urgent repair.

It appealed to members of the public to stop damaging traffic lights and other road facilities for the safety of road users.

The Hong Kong police told Xinhua that their Tin Shui Wai division has been in close communication with the Transport Department, and will carry out special traffic arrangements on roads to maintain road safety.

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