Disabled drivers in Hong Kong could do with greater sensitivity from police and traffic wardens
I have a walking disability. I use walking aids to move around and am unable to walk long distances, owing to my mobility issues.
Last month, I drove a rental car to Sai Kung. As car rental companies in Hong Kong do not provide disabled drivers with an official “disabled” sticker, I travel with one obtained from my country of origin. This “disabled” sticker was clearly displayed on the windscreen of my rental car.
I parked my car outside a shop for no more than 10 minutes, while I went inside to purchase a luggage item. When I exited the store on my two crutches, I found a traffic summons stuck on my windscreen and a traffic warden patrolling nearby. I called out to the warden and pointed to the sticker on my car. He retorted that I should park at the official disabled parking space, which was more than 150 metres away.
I asked him that if I had parked there, would he have been happy to carry me to the store and back again to my car, since I was unable to walk? He simply shrugged and walked off.
Subsequently, I happened upon a police constable and relayed the incident. The policeman shook his head and brusquely stomped off.
Watch: Hong Kong by wheelchair: a different perspective on our city’s accessibility
I find it incredible that public officers in Hong Kong are empowered to dispense penalty tickets with such alarming alacrity, but do not appear to have been empowered to dole out simple common sense with similar speed, to say nothing of having the capacity to exercise simple courtesy when dealing with those they serve, including people with disabilities.
Rowena Hawkins, Sha Tin