Banning bullbars on SUVs
- The text following is from the Hong Kong Government Transport
It's a consultation paper and gives you the
opportunity to e-mail in with your views. Reading the thing makes me
want to scream "Is that it?" but at least it gives an opportunity to
let off steam about the proliferation of these monstrosities-all the
worse here in Hong Kong where there is nary a prairie, safari trail
or even gravel track to drive over. What we have here in the most
dense urban corner of the planet is roads and more roads. We also
have the world record for the highest spatial intensities of carbon
monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatileorganic compounds and particulate
matter. Tourism is probably the major industry so i'm probably not
supposed to have told you these things, but another word in your ear,
the much vaunted Environmental Protection Department has seen to it
that 'standards' or indices are cunningly set much
lower than those in the rest of the world, (including noise pollution
standards) so that you can be utterly misled in our papers and from
our Tv if you come here by reports like "the air pollution index
today was moderate" etc
I've sent my e-mail, saying of course that to hell with bullbars,
ban SUVs totally as well as all large overpowered cars, of which we
also have a high proportion....
I dont care where you come from please feel free to write to the guy
You might visit on a business trip or as a tourist but you wont be
coming to look at traffic queues of SUVs or to be threatened and
intimidated by them. In fact i suspect the Mr Law who is dealing with
might have his heart in the right place. There's a certain suppressed
anger about the nonsense of it all in para 4, ""They are mostly of no
practical value for on-road
vehicles except as gadgets or for beautification" Unfortunately he's
still only refering to the bars not the bloody trucks.
Transport Department Proposal to Ban Aggressive Bull Bars Fitted to
To improve safety to all road users, the Government
intends to ban all aggressive bull bars fitted to the front of all on-
road vehicles, both in-use and new. The purpose of this paper is to
consult the public¡¦s view on this proposal.
2. Bull bars are fence-like attachments fitted onto or
close to vehicle bumpers. They are designed to give further
protection to the vehicle for off-road uses especially in wild and
remote areas. Unfortunately, because of the grating shape of the
bull bars and the fact that they are mostly harder than the vehicle
body, they are likely to inflict more injuries to other road users
than if they are not fitted should accidents occur. The potential
danger of the front bull bar is much higher than the rear, by the
reason that most pedestrian injuries are normally caused by frontal
impact. It is believed that some pedestrians who were killed or
maimed in low speed accidents involving vehicles fitted with steel
bars could otherwise have escaped serious injury. The bull bars are
particularly dangerous in accidents involving young children, as the
main heavy-duty cross bar is at head height. The danger is rising
with the increase in use of aggressive bull bars which has become the
trend. European vehicle manufacturers have agreed to ban rigid bull
bars from fitting onto their vehicles effective from 1 January 2002.
To improve safety to all road users, we therefore propose to ban all
aggressive bull bars fitted to the front of all on-road vehicles.
3. Regulation 36 of Road Traffic (C&M) Regulations, Cap
374 sub leg A governs that ¡§No mascot or other unnecessary
attachment shall be carried by a motor vehicle in any position where
it is likely to strike any person with whom the vehicle may collide
unless the mascot or attachment is not liable to cause injury to such
person by reason of any projection thereon¡¨.
Justification & Proposal
Aggressive Bull Bars
4. Since bull bars are designed mainly for protecting the
vehicle and driver from impact with large animals in off-road areas.
They are mostly of no practical value for on-road vehicles other than
as gadgets or for beautification. Removing bull bars from in-use
vehicles will not have any roadworthiness implications. They are
therefore unnecessary attachments.
5. Most accidents causing injury are due to vehicle
frontal impacts with road users such as pedestrians. An aggressive
bull bar that is fitted onto or close to the front bumper of a
vehicle will most likely be the vehicle component that will strike
onto the pedestrian in an accident, and will very likely cause more
injury than without it. TD therefore proposes to ban the front bull
bars as a start. Rear bull bars will for the moment still be
permitted, as accidents of pedestrians colliding with vehicle rears
is not common. Non-complying vehicles shall be regarded as having
contravened Road Traffic (Construction & Maintenance) Regulations.
Non-aggressive Bull Bars
6. Since not all bull bars are aggressive, a list of type-
approved bull bars shall be established and updated from time to
time. It shall also be available to the public for reference. On
the condition that vehicle manufacturers shall provide valid proof to
Transport Department that the bull bars are non-aggressive such that
they will inflict no more injury to any road users in an accident
than if they are not fitted, approval will be given to these bull
bar / vehicle model combinations. An after-market bull bar will
also be approved if the manufacturer can produce an acceptable
laboratory certificate for the respective vehicle model that the bar
is non-aggressive in the same context to the satisfaction of the
Commissioner for Transport.
7. Enforcement shall be through regular and ad hoc
vehicle inspections such as mandatory annual inspections, call-up
inspections, and Police/MVE roadside inspection. Section 80(1)(b) of
Road Traffic Ordinance Cap 374 allows a police officer to cause a
vehicle to be examined by a vehicle examiner if he considers that the
vehicle does not comply with Cap 374.
8. On examination of a vehicle, if the vehicle examiner
considers that the vehicle does not comply with Cap 374, he may issue
a vehicle repair order or refer the vehicle to a specially authorized
vehicle examiner (if he is of the view that the use of the vehicle on
the road would be dangerous to other road users) requiring the owner
to remove the bull bar from the vehicle.
9. If a repair order is not complied with, the
Commissioner for Transport may cancel the licence of vehicle under
Section 25(1)(b)(ii) of Cap 374.
10. Complaint and reports from the public and enforcement
officers shall continue to be an effective channel to reinforce
enforcement of the concerned regulations.
11. Members of the public are welcome to express views on
the proposal. All views expressed shall be considered for the fine-
tuning of the final proposal. Please send your comments to Transport
Department via email address kmlaw@t... or in written form to
¡§Room 3402, 34/F., Gloucester Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong¡¨ for the
attention of Mr. K M LAW, Engineer (Motor Vehicle Planning).
12. The tentative time frame shall be as follows :
(i) Apr 2002 ¡V May 2002 Publicity
(ii) June 2002 ¡V May 2003 a. Enforcement on
New Vehicles only.
Accumulation of database for compiling
list of non-aggressive bull bars.
(iii) June 2003 - Enforcement on
(both new and in-use).