Law and Enforcement


Handwriting and other human error cost the police force $2m in lost ticket fines

Illegible handwriting caused 6,700 parking tickets, worth over $2.1 million in fines, to be quashed between 2017 and 2020, police figures reveal, as the government proposes legislation to allow more widespread automatic e-ticketing systems.

Two Hong Kong traffic wardens in their brown uniforms ponder a black motorbike parked illegally on the pavement

Traffic wardens make fewer mistakes with e-ticket machines – now the government wants to replace them with automatic ticketing systems

In March last year, police rolled out a quasi-manual e-ticketing pilot scheme, giving frontline officers and traffic wardens handheld ticket printers to improve ticket accuracy. Since then, police have issued over a million e-tickets, with 800 still rejected due to “human error” but offering higher accuracy than the handwritten tickets.

The government now wants to extend the system to allow remote parking tickets – but since the Road Traffic Ordinance currently requires physical parking tickets to be manually affixed to cars, the law will need to change. As such, the government is asking lawmakers to write new legislation to allow police to ticket illegal parking by email or SMS, which will then allow camera systems or other parking monitors to ticket automatically.

Lawmakers were due to discuss the proposals at the Transport Panel late last week, but ran out of time. “Members will have a lot of questions, we will defer discussion when we have more time,” said Transport Panel chairman Frankie Yick Chi-ming, delaying the discussion until 23 April.

Leave a Reply