A social activist who failed to observe a traffic sign and dismount from her bicycle at a cycle-lane junction gave a police officer a lesson in civil disobedience when she was issued with a ticket, a court heard yesterday.
Ho Loy, 49, pleaded not guilty at Tsuen Wan Court to one charge of continuing to cycle past a point beyond which cycling is forbidden, as indicated by the traffic sign.
Ho is the chairwoman of the Lantau Buffalo Association and is involved in social, environmental and urban planning causes.
The maximum penalty for the offence is a fine of HK$2,000.
The alleged offence took place near Yu Tung Road in Tung Chung on May 13 last year.
Police Sergeant Man Kin-wing, who arrested Ho, told the court he had been looking out for any cyclists breaking the law.
"At the time, the female did not follow the sign. She carried on and rode past," Man said.
Ho refused to show him her identity card until a female officer arrived, the court heard.
"Then [Ho] told me: 'If I were not going to a meeting, I would have played a lengthy game with you," she said, adding that she would "teach him" about "civil disobedience". The incident lasted about 20 minutes, Man said. The defence said that the road which intersected with the cycle lane at the junction had not been in use for at least as long as Ho had lived in Tung Chung - five years. Ho said: "I have never seen [the road] in use for five years. We always pass by there."
The defence also argued that Ho had been confused about the sign's message, thinking it signalled the end point of a stretch on which cycling was prohibited, rather than the starting point.
Ho said when she looked at the sign she thought it was telling her to "keep on cycling".
Ho complained that Man had been rude while issuing her the ticket. "He grabbed my arm...I warned him that he did not have permission to make bodily contact with me," she told the court.
Ho said she always followed traffic regulations when cycling on roads.
Deputy Special Magistrate Andrew Mok Tze-chung adjourned the case to February 25 for the prosecution to seek legal advice from the Department of Justice in relation to the admissibility of an expert report by a defence witness on whether the city's traffic signs are confusing.