Moving offences not neglected

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 February, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 February, 1998, 12:00am

I refer to the letter headlined, 'A case of misplaced priorities' (South China Morning Post, February 16), in which your correspondent 'Name And Address Supplied' suggested that the prosecution of parking offences was being undertaken at the expense of more serious driving offences such as speeding.

In 1997, a total of 1,561,816 fixed penalty tickets were issued for parking contraventions, compared with a total of 677,612 tickets and summonses for moving offences.

However, it is not true to say that more parking enforcement results in less enforcement of moving offences.

The regional traffic patrol officers, who are responsible for taking action against serious offences, account for only one per cent of the parking tickets issued in 1997. Of the remainder, 40 per cent were issued by traffic wardens and 59 per cent by police officers engaged mainly on general foot patrol.

Clearly the foot patrol officers who issue most of the parking tickets (and who have a whole range of other responsibilities) are not in a position to take action against most of the serious offences, the enforcement of which usually requires the use of vehicles and specialist equipment. Police target moving offences selectively to maximise the effectiveness of available resources.

Of the total number of moving offence prosecutions in 1997, a total of 206,367 were for speeding, 124,270 for failure to comply with traffic signs and 21,572 for careless driving.

H. M. BLUD for Commissioner of Police