Following is a question by the Hon Chan Kin-por and a written reply by the Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury, Professor K C Chan, in the Legislative Council on February 24:
Under the Motor Vehicles Insurance (Third Party Risks) Ordinance (Cap 272), the Government is not required to take out third party risks insurance for its vehicles. At present, the Government itself takes on the compensation liability in traffic accidents involving government vehicles. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the total number and types of government vehicles as at the end of December last year; and
(b) of the total amount of compensation paid by the Government to third parties (including compensation for personal injuries and property damages) in relation to traffic accident claims involving government vehicles in each of the past five years, the number of claims to which the Government did not make compensation and the reasons for that, as well as the administration costs and remuneration expenses of government officials involved in handling such claims?
(a) The number of government vehicles broken down by vehicle types as at the end of December 2009 is appended below:
Cross Country Vehicle 182
Passenger/Goods Van 1,688
Specialised Vehicle 1,766
(b) In respect of traffic accidents involving government vehicles and third parties, the total amount of compensation paid in the past five years (i.e. January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2009) for personal injuries and property damage is appended below:
Year Amount ($ Million)
The Government did not make compensation in respect of 49 cases due to the following reasons:
* The claimants withdrew their claims after serving the initial claims applications.
* The claims had been time-barred (i.e. they were outside the limitation period during which a court action could have been brought) by the time the claims were made by the claimants and the claims were rejected on such basis.
* The claims concerned damage which was due to the fault of parties other than the Government (i.e. third parties) and the Government was not legally liable to make compensation or was entitled to full indemnification from third parties.
* The claims were disputed by the Government on liability and were ultimately dismissed by the courts.
* The Government denied liability in respect of the claims and there had not been further actions or steps taken by the claimants.Handling traffic accident claims is part of the day-to-day duties for the departments concerned. The required resources are covered by existing departmental provisions and the departments concerned have not made separate assessment on the administrative costs thus involved.