Law and Enforcement

ILLEGAL PARKING COMPLAINTS TREBLE IN Q4 2019

A large black Mercedes Benz S-class completely blocks the pavement, with a baby stroller struggling to get past, on a Central street in Hong Kong, license plate PASHA

Police have said illegal parking is dangerous, pushing people onto roads, reducing visibility and damaging pavements: yet enforcement remains sporadic in most districts.

Complaints of illegal parking and bad driving soared 220% in the last quarter of 2019, with 2,132 complaints registered with Transport Complaints Unit (TCU), against 667 in the previous quarter, and 614 in the second quarter, according to figures released yesterday.

Traffic enforcement complaints for the whole year reached 4,163, up almost 50% on 2018, the steepest rise on record and the highest measure of dissatisfaction with traffic enforcement since TCU’s public reporting began in 2004.

The figures may well reflect community frustration at the lower levels of police parking enforcement seen during the latter half of last year. In fact, enforcement against illegal parking in the second half of 2019 was at its lowest since 2012, according to police figures, with under half a million parking tickets given from July to December against over a million for the same period of 2018.

graph of parking complaints in Hong Kong showiong steep rise in recent years

Complaints of illegal parking and other enforcement have surged in recent years

TCU says it follows up every substantiated case, with 81 drivers summonsed for offences reported through the TCU email or phone hotline.

Meanwhile, public transport complaints were down 12.5% from 6,471 in the previous quarter to 5,662 for the last quarter of 2019.

TCU says it also received 40 transport suggestions from citizens and has taken several on board, including suggestions to increase “vehicle green time” for four traffic light locations across the city – Expo Drive Central, Lockhart Road, Wai Yip Street and Clear Water Bay Road – and one suggestion to increase pedestrian green time, flexibly, at the junction of Queen’s Road West and Eastern St.

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