Lawmaker Kwok Wai-keung was yesterday seen driving during a video meeting of the LegCo Housing Panel, with the lawmaker later claiming he had found a safe place to park and was retreating to his car because of the cold.
“Don’t worry, I have stopped at a suitable location as soon as possible to continue the meeting,” Kwok wrote on Facebook. “The weather is cold, and the heater in the car is my shelter from the cold.”
However, the video footage of the meeting shows that, while Kwok was not driving during his first five-minute questioning of officials over housing project delays, the Federation of Trade Unions was on the move for most of the remainder of the meeting, including while clarifying his motion at the request of chairman Tommy Cheung.
Kwok’s formal question finished at around 10.10, when he appeared not to be in a car. At around 10.13, he appeared to get back on the road: video footage shows his eyes darting between the road and mirrors, while the rearview mirror ornament can be clearly seen swinging and the seatbelt occasionally materialises through the software background.
“I am non-stop serving the community so I have no time to stop,” wrote Kwok, making light of the incident. “Everyone must pay attention to safety on the road.”
Driving while talking on a mobile phone or video conference is not necessarily an offence: however, holding the phone in one’s hands while driving is illegal, whether the phone is being used or not. A driver could also be convicted of careless driving if they are found driving a vehicle without due care and attention: that offence carries a penalty of up to six months in jail and a $5,000 fine.
The Housing Panel was the first LegCo committee to run a formal meeting by Zoom, after a motion in LegCo on Wednesday allowed remote video conferences. Previously, Zoom or other video meetings had been informal, without voting or motions allowed.