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Proposals To Ban Drivers Idling Engines

Government revises proposals to ban drivers idling engines

Regina Leung – SCMP – Updated on Jan 02, 2009

The government has revised a legislative proposal to ban drivers from running the engines of their vehicles when they were idle, Acting-Secretary for the Environment Kitty Poon Kit on Friday.

The government launched a five-month public consultation on the proposal in November 2007.

To reduce the air pollution problem, a consultation document on the issue proposed that if drivers did not switch off a vehicle’s engine when it was idle, they would be given a fixed-penalty ticket.

However, Ms Poon said restrictions on drivers of taxis, minibuses and coaches would be eased.

Sources said the original proposal suggested giving exemptions to the first two taxis at a taxi stand. This has now has been revised to the first five taxis.

The first two minibuses at the same public light bus (PLB) stand, with different routes, will also have exemptions.

The exemption will be given to taxis and PLBs in a moving queue at their designated stops and stands, local media reported

“The revised proposal was due for consideration of the industry’s practical needs and we have proposed appropriate exemptions to meet operators’ demands,” she said.

“We have tried to strike a balance between the needs of the public and the transport trade,” added Ms Poon.

She said Environmental Protection Department officials would meet transport industry representatives to discuss the details about the revised proposal in the coming two days.

“The proposal would be submitted to Legislative Council’s environmental affairs panel later this month. We hope that the new law will be enacted some time this year,” she said.

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