More parking fines as police get tougher

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 December, 2011, 12:00am


Tougher action on illegal parking and an increase in policing in Central has led to a 9 per cent rise in the number of fixed-penalty tickets issued between January and last month, from the whole of last year.

According to police, the figure rose to 30,000, from 28,000 last year, and is expected to reach between 33,000 and 34,000 by year-end, as a crackdown involving more than 400 officers would continue.

Superintendent Eric Leung Yan-kit, from the Central Police Station, yesterday attributed the rise in the number of fixed-penalty tickets to increased policing that started more than a month ago.

Leung said the crackdown was necessary because the illegal parking situation had worsened. 'There has been an increase in the number of complaints about traffic jams and the figures on the issuance of fixedpenalty tickets keep rising,' he said.

As each ticket costs drivers between HK$320 and HK$450, the crackdown also helped the government pocket at least HK$10 million in revenue.

Leung admitted that the habit of chauffeurs waiting for their bosses outside their offices on busy roads in Central was among the factors that had exacerbated the traffic woes.

As of last Friday, Central police received 8,051 traffic-related complaints this year, or about 14 per cent of their total annual caseload.

Police yesterday also identified 18 illegal parking black spots in Central. They include Ice House Street, Glenealy, Arbuthnot Road, Queen's Road Central, Wyndham Street, Pedder Street, Duddell Street and Connaught Road Central.

Leung said all 400 uniformed police officers from the Central station had been involved in the crackdown on traffic jams and illegal parking, which is in addition to their other duties.

However, officers from Hong Kong Island's traffic unit also helped.

Leung said officers would patrol the black spots at different times.

Besides issuing fixed-penalty tickets to drivers who cause traffic problems, their cars would also be towed away if necessary, police said, adding there were no plans to end the stepped-up police action.

In May, district councillors said there were an increase in the number of cars belonging to tycoons being parked illegally in Central.

That same month, the South China Morning Post found six cars waiting outside New Henry House in Ice House Street, with their engines idling, had taken up half of the two-lane street, slowing down the lunchtime traffic.