Police should not blame LegCo’s failure to raise parking fines “as an excuse for their incompetence in dealing with parking violation problems”, says the chairman of the Central & Western District Council Traffic & Transport Committee (TTC), Sam Yip Kam-lung, ahead of a council meeting Thursday (21 May) to discuss the issue.
District Councillors have raised the problem of illegal parking for the third meeting of the TTC, asking police how it plans to strengthen law enforcement in the district.
In response to the council, police acknowledge the illegal parking situation “has been deteriorating in recent years” but say the fault lies with LegCo, which has failed to raise parking ticket fines in the last 26 years, leaving the deterrent effect diluted by inflation and rising incomes.
While five traffic offences had fines raised by lawmakers in January 2018, the standard fixed-penalty parking fine has remained at HK$320 since 1994.
But Yip says the police should do better than blame lawmakers. “Some illegal parking black spots like Queen’s Road Central have been known for over a decade and still they have not been dealt with”, he said.
Yip also says pro-government lawmakers should shoulder responsibility for the parking mess in the city. “The pro-Beijing camp in LegCo should be held accountable for this matter as they have been the majority of the LegCo members and yet they chose to ignore the said matter,” he says.
Police say they gave 31,951 tickets in Western Division in 2019, down from 52,768 in 2018.
The council meeting on Thursday will also deal with the issue of abandoned motorcycles in the district: police and other departments are yet to respond to councillors’ request for information.