New changes made to idling engine ban
Even more drivers will be allowed to keep their vehicles' engines running when they are parked. The director of environmental protection, Anissa Wong Sean-yee, has quietly changed the laws, and now about 200 more vehicles are allowed to keep their motors running.
It was hoped that the idling engine ban, which came into effect in December, would make Hong Kong's air pollution less bad. These changes are the first to be made, and they allow six Hong Kong welfare agencies to keep their engines on, including health, medical and family organisations, and Salvation Army centres for senior citizens.
Democratic Party lawmaker Kam Nai-wai is not happy about the change. He said the public should have been given the chance to give their opinions.
Since the anti-idling law was introduced, inspectors have been timing vehicles running their engines while not moving, in certain places in the city. But in most cases, the drivers switched off their engines within the time limit allowed by law.
Drivers can be fined HK$320 if they keep their engines running for more than three minutes.