23rd November 2023 – (Hong Kong) A video clip capturing a roadside dispute in Wan Chai district has ignited social media frenzy, prompting a broader discussion on pedestrian responsibility and road safety in Hong Kong.
The incident occurred on yesterday afternoon as a private car was navigating along Landale Street in Wan Chai. The dashcam footage, approximately 39 seconds in length, reveals a woman in a blue maxi dress walking in the middle of the road. The driver, showing restraint, slowed the vehicle while waiting for the woman to return to the pedestrian walkway.
Despite the driver reducing speed and allowing for approximately five car lengths of space, the woman did not move off the road. This prompted the driver to honk in an attempt to indicate her to do so, leading to a heated exchange between the two.
Upon hearing the honk, the woman turned around with a disgruntled expression and retorted at the driver with coarse language. A verbal altercation ensued, lasting for about 20 seconds and filled with a flurry of obscenities. At the end of the exchange, the driver drove off and the video concluded.
The video has since been shared widely online, with netizens generally siding with the driver. Comments poured in, criticising the woman’s behaviour and expressing support for the driver’s actions. Many pointed out the basic principle of road safety: pedestrians should not walk in the middle of the road to avoid being honked at by vehicles. Some even labelled the woman’s actions as ‘terrifying’.
The incident brought to light an earlier event where a security guard at a Tai Wai shopping mall became involved in a shouting match with a motorcyclist who honked at him. The altercation eventually led to two staff members resigning.
Under Section 48 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap. 374 of the Laws of Hong Kong), pedestrians who disregard traffic signals, cross barriers, or negligently endanger their own or others’ safety while crossing the road, along with improper actions of drivers, may face fines up to HK$2,000.