Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Starsky and Hutch Cops Burn Rubber in NT
My normally uneventful commute to work this morning was disturbed by an unexpected source, to wit, police van EUNT3 B3, AKA AM 8406, whose driver appears to be in training for the next Macau Formula 3 Grand Prix.
Said van was proceeding in a northerly direction on Fo Tan Road and was stationary in the third lane of five at the traffic lights facing the Shatin Institute of Vocational Education when I drew alongside at 7.40am. I was in the second lane, this being the first of the straight-on lanes (the first being a filter left), in preparation for turning left onto the Tai Po Road 150 metres ahead.
You can imagine my surprise when the van shifted through the gears so that it could draw level with me and then, turning on its indicator, with a movement to the left attempted to force its way into the left-hand lane to enter the slip road for the highway. The only problem for the driver was that my car already occupied that position.
Only with reluctance as the junction drew nearer did the van move across and take his place behind me. Queuing up to join the rush-hour traffic on Tai Po Road gave the driver plenty of time to reflect on what one hopes they may have taught him or her at the Police College in Fanling, where the Hong Kong Police Force claim that “professional driving training…ensures full compliance with statutory requirements whilst emphasizing the safety ethic, as well as defensive driving tactics, to enable police drivers to meet operational exigencies”.
Perhaps the boys in blue would like to remind their drivers of a couple of the basic rules of the road, not to mention their “safety ethic”, notably the central principles of “right of way” and “mirror, signal and manoeuvre”. Regarding the latter, in order to ensure that the number of operational exigencies the police have to meet remains as low as possible, might I make two suggestions? First, that drivers make at least a cursory glance in the side mirror in addition to the rear-view one and, second, that drivers are informed that “mirror, signal and manoeuvre” means not look in the mirror, turn your indicator on and change lane, but look in the mirrors, turn your indicator on and change lane once it has become clear and it is safe to do so.
I even have a video which may help in their training.