Have you been caught? Number of parking tickets surge 20 per cent in 2016 … that’s almost 4,200 every day

First nine months of the year saw a 20 per cent surge in tickets issued for parking violations as police vow further crackdowns

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 November, 2016, 8:33pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 November, 2016, 11:13am

There was a 20 per cent surge in the number of parking tickets issued in the first nine months of this year, compared with 2015 – with an average of more than 4,200 drivers caught daily.

As police stepped up operations to tackle the issue which has blighted the city, they issued a total of 1.16 million tickets up to the end of September.

The force will also launch a ­territory-wide operation, from ­today, to further combat illegal parking and traffic congestion. It will be the fourth time this year police have conducted such an operation.

Traffic superintendent Yip Siu-ming said that in the first three quarters of this year, officers handed out around 1.5 million penalty tickets to drivers caught on violating traffic rules, which climbed year on year by 15 per cent. Almost 80 per cent were for illegal parking.

Of the five regions, New Territories North saw the biggest increase, jumping 30 per cent to 274, 609. Hong Kong Island, Kowloon East and West each climbed by about 20 per cent.

Yip said the force would target blackspots during the six-day ­operation and issue tickets to drivers without warning.

“We will issue multiple tickets and take summons action against drivers who blatantly contravene illegal parking regulation and obstruct traffic flow. Illegally parked vehicles will be towed away if necessary,” said Yip yesterday, during a swoop on Nam Ning Street in Aberdeen.

The operation comes after the traffic watchdog released a report in September, which showed complaints against illegal parking jumped by 30 per cent to 927 from January to June, compared with 713 in the same period last year, despite a citywide crackdown since April.

Combating illegal parking was among the key priorities of traffic enforcement action this year, pledged by the Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung.

Yip said the force would consider using technology and closed circuit television to monitor illegal parking in the future.

A video, which showed a traffic policeman being verbally abused by an angry woman while issuing a penalty ticket to a motorist, went viral last week.

The policeman, Cheung Wai-nam, appealed the road users to obey the law, although he was slightly upset with the abuse.

“I understand the feelings of the drivers who were prosecuted. But we will still take strict enforcement actions to reduce the number of fatal traffic accidents,” Cheung said.

Traffic accidents in the first nine months of this year took 89 lives and injured 15,000 people.

Police figures showed a total of 1,326,112 fixed penalty tickets against parking offences were issued in 2015.

The government has proposed that the current fines of HK$320 and HK$450 for different classes of vehicles be raised to HK$480 and HK$680 respectively, as the penalties had not been increased since 1994.