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  • Sep 30, 2014
  • Updated: 1:33pm
NewsHong Kong
TRAFFIC

Parking fines must rise by HK$500 to tackle traffic crisis, say police

After recent rise in cases, traffic police chief says fines should more than double to deter drivers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 13 December, 2013, 4:17am
UPDATED : Friday, 13 December, 2013, 4:55pm

Fines should be more than doubled to tackle illegal parking, which is getting out of hand, a top traffic police officer has said.

Chief Superintendent Paul Stripp said yesterday if the fine was to act as a deterrent it should be increased by HK$500, to HK$820.

His call came after it was announced that 860,339 parking tickets were issued in the first 10 months of this year, 101,443 more than in the whole of last year.

Illegal parking now takes up 60 per cent of traffic police time, prompting force chiefs to urge officials to review the current HK$320 fine.

Hong Kong's parking fine is significantly lower than that in Sydney, New York and London, with the last increase being a HK$120 rise in 1994.

Stripp said illegal parking was a "big problem" and was increasing the risk of accidents. The problem was most serious in Yau Tsim Mong, Kwun Tong and Tai Po. It was also an issue in many new towns, he said.

Drivers breaking parking rules in Sydney face a much tougher time. The highest penalty in that city is A$607 (HK$4,288). For the least serious parking offences, such as disobeying a no-parking sign, drivers in Sydney pay A$101. In the City of London, parking penalties are divided into two tiers - £80 (HK$1,020) and £130. Offenders in New York pay US$60 to US$515.

Hung Wing-tat, associate professor in Polytechnic University's civil and structural engineering department, said the government should come up with comprehensive parking policies instead of just increasing parking fines.

"There are many cars parking illegally in the New Territories villages too, but it's meaningless to issue tickets to all of them because they don't obstruct the traffic," Hung said. "Hong Kong just doesn't have any parking policies."

The city could learn from Singapore and London, where measures had been taken to deter cars from entering the city centre, he said.

"Many rich people have a driver, so they just drive off when the police tell them to go," Hung said.

"The policy should be changed so the police could issue tickets right away. That would be much more of a deterrent."

The Transport and Housing Bureau, which sets parking fines, said it had been studying the illegal parking situation and would review the level of penalties at a "suitable time".

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This article is now closed to comments

OldPeak Toad
One of the reasons why "illegal parking fines" have increased may be, as observed and experienced, because the police has started 'raids' in areas and at times where they will not be directly confronted by angry motorists, such as quiet backstreets, larger spaces with no-parking signs, off hours etc. where motorists actually do not obstruct anybody, and one could easily assume other than busybodies nobody would bother, while in 'hot' areas they do not dare!
Shadow
Racial and biased officer already issues several tickets to cars when the meter is just delays for one minute. they see a car meter is going to expire, they stand near back adjusting their watches with the expiry time. as soon as the meter expires they issue ticket. Ridiculous!
Increasing penalty changed would not do any good but harm. People will start to hire Car joekcyes are available almost every street in Tsim sha Tsui and Central. And they will use this money for other crimes and make their roots high. Car parking prices will go further up and parking spaces price will also go up.
the best option is NOT increasing price but to control new cars by having a new rule " permission to buy a car" which should be as costly as a new car. And a policy to de-register your private car and undertake NOT to have a car for next 5 years and get back your paid tax.
in Sydney and London, they don't have car jockey in the streets, they have government organized parking space available for general population while we don't. then how can we consider our-self like them?
in Hong Kong, rich rules the law while poor is grind by law.
HK-Explorer
So illegal parking takes up 60% of police time. Then the police should be forced to get that 60% back from handing out fines. If police are given a quota that is measurable then they will gladly hand out fines. Right now it is not worth the hassle to argue or even bother filling out a ticket.
For those who just take of when police come they can just video record the cars for 20 minutes and then go an hand out a fine.
In order to stop them taking off when the police come they can just drive up with their motorcycles' or cars and stop them and hand a ticket. They stop people all the time. Video is cheap and is all that is required to charge someone.
daily
Finally about time that the HK police force figured out that there was a serious problem with the way HK'rs treat illegal parking..........Should triple or even up more the current $320 so that all those damnn drivers parking illegally will finally smarten up.
ei050705
Obviously demand of parking space is bigger than the supply caused illegal parking is serious in Hong Kong. Raise the fine just a short term solution and can not hit the root of illegal parking. Increase the parking space and limited the number of vehicles is a real method to solve the problem.
cheechee129
No doubt, the rise in fine can have a higher deterrent effect. But to promote road safety, the police can do more than just rising the fine by the three-pronged measures, enforcement, publicity and education. Law enforcement should be enhanced. As I remember, after a number of accidents related to drink driving, a series of publicity has been made in TV. Indeed, it helps to arouse the awareness of all drives not to drive after drinking. I think that it applies to illegal parking as well. Moreover, we should look into the root of illegal parking so as to tackle the problem effectively. Insufficient parking space? Can the government do something to alleviate this problem?
John Adams
The irony is that there ARE public car parks within 5 minutes drive of all the illegal parking / waiting black spots in Central and TST.
Nonetheless the tycoon-mobile drivers prefer not to use them because it would require an extra few minutes when their masters ( or their master's tai tai's ) call them to get to the pick-up spot.
As for education .... forget it ! I recall the police had a slot a few months ago on RTHK's public awareness program on Sunday evening. It showed a policeman warning an illegal parker somewhere in Central , who - having refused to move her car - had it towed away. Comedy show of the year ! Monty Python stuff !
When was the last time the police EVER towed away an illegally parked car in Central ? Was it 1953 or 1903 ?
Byebye
Can the same technology of London be used in Hong Kong? How about installing cameras in absolutely "No Parking" or "No Stopping" or "No Alighting" areas? First time offenders are liable for normal fines and second time double fines, and thence third time offenders triple fine etc.. Then when such repeated offences reach a certain number, blacklist the car from using the roads, and these car owners need to pay another fine on renewal of road tax and the driving licence. I am a law obedient citizen, and no one is exempted from breaking the law whoever you are. Lawless behaviour or action has no standing in a well established society like HK!
captam
Anything could be done............... this included.
We just need some leadership by someone with the guts to do it!
captam
At last we have a senior police traffic officer who has the bxxxs to admit that we have traffic chaos because enforcement has now become a joke.
It’s a pity that C.S. Paul Stripp could not have gone further and highlighted that the Government's STEP (Selective Traffic Enforcement Policy) introduced in 1993, has been an unmitigated disaster. Prior to this date police and wardens would issue thousands of fixed penalties daily to curtail unlawful parking and this was generally effective.
Transport Bureau has also stupidly permitted almost half a million additional cars and vans onto our crowded streets, while at the same time restricting the growth of pooled public transport options (buses). Is it any wonder that our bus companies have been slow to modernize their fleets when they are being squeezed at both ends? They are neither able to make high enough fare increases to meet increased operating costs nor develop and grow their businesses because of traffic congestion considerations.
If all those cars were not on the streets, the buses could run on time and would be fuller.
Another of former C.E, Tsang’s and C.S Tang’s legacies of failure, pampering to the rich who want the streets for their own selfish convenience and the great 'unwashed' masses confined underground or in their over-cooled expensive shopping malls!

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