• Wed
  • Jul 23, 2014
  • Updated: 2:49am
NewsHong Kong

Bosses force chauffeurs to park illegally, say police

PUBLISHED : Monday, 17 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 17 December, 2012, 4:15am

Police efforts to unclog the congested streets of Central by nearly doubling the number of parking tickets issued have been obstructed by chauffeurs unwilling to incur their employer's anger by moving along, as ordered.

The defiant drivers waiting outside offices or eateries say they would prefer to get a fine - which their owners would happily pay - rather than move, a police officer said.

"They tell our frontline officers that they have no choice. 'You ticket me; my boss will pay. If I don't wait here, my boss will yell at me'," he said.

"There are a lot of wealthy people in Hong Kong, and a fine means nothing to them."

Central and Western District councillor Cheng Lai-king agreed, saying "for them, paying such a fine is just like paying a car-park fee".

Parking tickets cost between HK$320 and HK$450.

Cheng and the police agree "bosses' cars" worsen traffic congestion in Central during peak hours.

Police have launched a publicity campaign with the slogan "Wait for your car. Don't get your car to wait for you."

Police have also written to property management companies, seeking their help to pass the message to tenants.

The number of parking fines in Central is up 93 per cent to 73,058 this year.

The force's assistant Central district commander for operations, Superintendent Eric Leung Yan-kit, said the sharp increase was the result of tougher enforcement.

"Those who break traffic regulations will be ticketed. If necessary, vehicles will be towed away. Police will not exercise discretion," he warned.

Leung said the crackdown had improved traffic flow in the district.

Also adding to Central's traffic woes are drivers of armoured security vans abusing their restricted-zone parking permits.

 

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This article is now closed to comments

captam
If drivers are defiant of police instructions to move a vehicle when it is parked or waiting illegally, rather than just issue a fixed penalty parking fine ( which will be paid by their bosses) the proper course of action for the police officer is summons the driver personally under Section 61 of the Road Traffic Ordinance for ‘ neglect of traffic directions’. Under this regulation, any driver who neglects or refuses to obey any direction of the police officer or traffic warden commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $2000. People charged under this regulation are not entitled to plead guilty by letter and must therefore attend court to respond to the summons and this will be very time consuming and inconvenient . Under this charge a convicted offender also attracts a record of the conviction and a repeat offender is more likely to be fined the maximum. Hitting the drivers personally rather than their rich bosses will be more effective. It is also time for all traffic control and driving offence related fines to be substantially increased to catch up with inflation over the past 20 years.
maecheung
Excellent suggestion about using Section 61 of the Road Traffic Ordinance! While increasing the fine would be a deterrent to ordinary drivers, but will do nothing for the wealthy who could afford chauffeurs.
cc805
Just keep a tow truck stationed/parked near the hotspots permanently as a deterrent. It appears that if an infringement can't do the trick, surely it would be more embarrassing and humiliating for an owner to see their car being towed away. Or wheel clamps maybe?
maecheung
Excellent idea! If the driver doesn't move, then the car should be towed away immediately. Now, the boss has to go to the pound him/herself to reclaim the vehicle.
ed_kwok
The Police do everything they can to make it inconvenient for drivers. Why not do something useful instead? How about assisting drivers to wait by the side of the road so they can switch off their engines and avoid adding to the traffic. Waiving off drivers just makes them drive around Central clogging up the streets and causing more pollution.
mrgoodkat
Instead of ticketing the drivers, the SAR government should provide more parking spaces and require new buildings to have parking spaces. Most of the office buildings in Central or elsewhere don't have any parking spaces. Maybe the government could build underground parking below the streets in Central. Like they did in Barcelona. The whole city center is equipped with underground parking, accessible from every street.
captam
Sorry NO! The wrong solution.
We don't need more car parks. What we need is LESS CARS!
Central streets should be pedestrianized with only public transport ( buses) and service vehicles permitted on the main corridors.
cbre07
In some European countries the amount of the fine for road offences (particularly for speeding) is determined by the wealth of the driver - would be good to see this introduced in HK. 10K or 100K parking fines, why not?
 
 
 
 
 

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