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  • Dec 27, 2014
  • Updated: 11:10pm
NewsHong Kong

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

To increase the fine will certainly deter a number of people from parking illegally. However, the most notorious group of illegal parking are the rich people letting the drivers wait in no parking zones. If you want to really hurt these people you must take away their cars. If a certain car is caught parking illegally e.g. 3 times within 6 months, the car license should be suspended for 3 months. And since they are parking illegally every day a few times they quickly would have all their cars without license unless they stop parking illegally. This also would hurt the rich boss who doesn't care much about a HK$ 1,000 or 2,000 fine and not the driver who acts upon the boss' instructions.
The major problem is chauffeured cars. Drivers just block the roads and drive off when approached by police only to return minutes later. Increase the fines, penalty points on the licence and give penalise drivers even if they drive off. These offenders are laughing at the police just because the big boss won't walk a few yards. Seizing cars of repeat offenders is a good idea too!
John Adams
I agree 100% !
The problem ( at least in Central and nearby districts) is not illegal parking per se.
It's the cars that are WAITING with the driver either sitting in the car or lounging around nearby.
These are the the cars that really block up the roads and cause congestion.
But both traffic wardens and police refuse to book these cars.
Chief Superintendent Paul Stripp : WHY ?????
By comparison, the other Sunday I saw three mounted police cops "attack" ( no other words for it) a row of cars parked outside the Indian Club at San Po Kong where there was a little charity rugby match going on on the practice field. There was zero traffic, zero congestion, zero reason to book the cars other than the a few inconspicuous parking signs .... and the fact that the drivers were inside supporting the charity.
The most abused parking sign in the whole of HK is the police's own blue sign outside the very seat of justice - the High Court building in Justice Drive : "Vehicles parked here will be towed away without warning" .
Mr Stripp - when was the last time a car was booked there - let alone towed away ?
Your current parking enforcement policy is unjust, discriminatory, emasculated and totally useless.
3,200 fine for Central and TST, 320 fine for the rest of HK.
Too many cars, ineffective fines and drivers who get difficult as soon as the cops take enforcement action. Whatever the excuse be it charity, loading or unloading, waiting for a sick friend ... everyone believes they are in the right and can park with impunity. It all a manifestation of the selfish attitude that pervades Hong Kong.
Patterson Street Causeway Bay - a perfect example of the comments here; where Mini Bus passengers are forced to scramble through traffic due to illegal parkers waiting for their jewellery shopping masters.
The police arrive rarely, and when they do, they get the offenders to move on, rather than booking them on the spot, which is signposted. This is a useless policy as the offenders drive around the block and illegally park in the same place again. With their motors running, making life difficult for the hundreds waiting in queues.
You cannot blame the police - blame the policy. On-the-spot fines and demerit points need to be issued and repeat offending vehicles need to lose their registration.
Also - our police force has enough to do - can't HK afford more traffic wardens?
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!
Anything could be done............... this included.
We just need some leadership by someone with the guts to do it!
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!
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 ?



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