A 39-year-old Hong Kong taxi driver was killed in the early hours of Thursday after his vehicle crashed into a truck and caught fire.

Taxi on fire
A taxi caught fire after ramming into a trick on March 30. The taxi driver was found dead after the blaze was put out. Photo: Screenshot, via YouTube.

The fatal collision occurred at around 4.30am on Thursday morning, when a medium-sized truck driven by a 46-year-old man rammed into another truck with a 53-year-old driver on the airport-bound North Lantau Highway, the police said in a statement.

Subsequently, the male taxi driver failed to brake in time and crashed into one of the trucks, police said. The taxi went up in flames on impact, and the driver’s body was found after firefighters extinguished the blaze.

Meanwhile, the 46-year-old truck driver was injured in his chest and sent to Princess Margaret Hospital in a conscious state.

Princess Margaret Hospital
Princess Margaret Hospital. Photo: GovHK.

The police said an investigation was underway and urged anyone who witnessed the accident or was with information to offer to contact them.

The major road towards the airport was closed for six hours because of the fatal accident.

Reducing the number of taxis in accidents

A day before the accident, lawmaker Tony Tse raised a question about reducing the number of traffic accidents involving taxi drivers in the Legislative Council.

In a written reply to the legislator, the Secretary for Transport and Logistics Lam Sai-hung revealed that accidents involving taxis accounted for almost a quarter of the total number of traffic accidents in 2021 and 2022, as well as in January.

The data supplied also showed that close to 70 per cent of the taxi drivers who had been involved in traffic accidents in 2022 were aged 50 or above.

Taxi drivers from 60 to 69 were involved in a total of 1,446 cases of traffic accidents last year. That was the highest among all age groups and accounted for over 31 per cent of all accidents involving taxis. Following a string of incidents earlier this month, the Transport Department said it would review the requirements for driver health and fitness checks.

To address the problem of the aging work force in the taxi trade, Lam said the authorities had relaxed the requirement for applying a taxi licence and made changes to the taxi written test to attract newcomers to the industry.

Lam added that all applicants for a full taxi driving licence now must attend a course on road safety beforehand and it was already completed by 10,338 people as of February.

He also cited the increase in taxi fares since last July and said it has improved “the financial viability of taxi operation.”

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Peter Lee

Peter Lee is a reporter for HKFP. He was previously a freelance journalist at Initium, covering political and court news. He holds a Global Communication bachelor degree from CUHK.