Changing of guard for frontline traffic officers
At a ceremony held at Police Headquarters on January 28, the Force bid farewell to one generation of police motorcycles, and formally celebrated the arrival of the next.
At the ceremony, the police motorcycle - the BMW R850RT - was de-commissioned and a new model - the BMW R900RT - was commissioned to replace the outgoing model.
Speaking at the ceremony, Commissioner Tsang Wai-hung pointed out that the outgoing motorcycle had been in service for more than a decade, during which traffic officers had ridden to provide a fast and effective response to emergencies, and to keep the roads safe, orderly and as free-flowing as possible.
He added: "The outgoing police motorcycle has served us well, and has been a part of some historic occasions for the Police. Whilst its first major role was the escort of President Jiang Zemin who came to Hong Kong in 2001, it also featured prominently in the visit of President Hu Jintao, when in 2007, he came to our city to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Perhaps the most memorable deployment of the motorcycles though, was the formation of the 'security envelope' around the torch-bearers during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Torch Relay when it came to Hong Kong."
Mr Tsang went on to say that in each of those events, it was the Force Escort Group (FEG) that proudly showcased frontline traffic officers, as they have done so for hundreds of other visits and events through the years. The FEG was established in April 1986 for the visit of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandra, and this year marks its 25th Anniversary.
Expressing his thanks to the FEG for their professional, loyal and committed service over the years, he noted: "In the early days, the FEG comprised just 15 officers, and, over the years, the group has expanded to five regional escort teams and a headquarters team comprising nearly 60 men and women. Last year they committed over 1 600 man-days to escort duties, all as a secondary duty in addition to their regular traffic policing role."
"So it is particularly fitting that, on this, the FEG's silver anniversary, we are commissioning a new model of police motorcycle - the BMW R900RT," Mr Tsang noted.
"This replacement exercise is a very significant one for the Force as we are determined to support our frontline officers by ensuring that they have equipment that is fit for purpose. These new motorcycles have the driving features and safety characteristics that will help our officers to ride with confidence when going about their duties," Mr Tsang concluded.
The new motorcycles will be used in regular traffic policing duties throughout all regions of Hong Kong. They have been specially manufactured for use by the police and they have been designed to have the performance, quality, and handling that frontline traffic officers need to do their jobs effectively.
With green as the colour tone and the LED emergency light, the new motorcycle is eye-catching and makes road users more aware of police presence, thus affording traffic officers with more protection. The siren will perform better than the old one in car interception.
Chief Inspector Lee Wing-keung of Traffic New Territories South (T NTS) said: "The motorcycle's equipment would give officers on duty more protection. The protective gear being provided has significantly reduced the chance of officers getting hurt in accidents. Feeling more comfortable in driving, officers would come up with more efficiency."
Speaking of the motorcycle's new speed detector, T NTS Senior Inspector Yee Kwok-fung said: "The old BMW motorcycle did not have such installation, which is very useful. The results of speed detection can be used as evidences in court, thus making enforcement action more smooth." He also pointed out that the design of motorcycle's windscreen increases its stability on the road.
T NTS Police Constable Lai Fai-loi is full of praise of the functions of the new motorcycle. He noted: "The new car is capable of accelerating more quickly. It is lighter than the old one and consumes less fuel. The amplifier sounds louder, more audible to motorists when officers try to stop them. No longer using hand signals would make the job safer for officers. We very much welcome the arrival of the new motorcycle."
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