An ongoing police operation codenamed “Goldensun” prosecuted another 171 cyclists over the weekend, adding to a long list of bicycle riders summonsed under the campaign and setting 2021 as a record year for bicycle offences punished.
Police say the operation in New Territories North aimed to catch riders not equipped with lights or who were riding on pavements. “Members of the public are not allowed to ride bicycles on the pavement,” said a police brief on the campaign.
The cyclist prosecution campaign at the weekend contrasts with a 10-day police operation on Queen’s Road Central, which saw just 152 motor vehicles or their drivers ticketed for illegal parking or illegal loading/unloading – an average of 15 per day.
And while motorists enjoyed a 10% reduction in careless driving prosecutions from 2019 to 2020, bicycle riders saw police action against them rise 72% over the same period.
In fact, based on bicycle offence figures from the first nine months of 2021, cyclists will see another 70% rise in prosecutions this year, or a 190% rise since 2019.
In early 2020, the police-run Road Safety Council had said it would prioritise cycling for police enforcement, based on statistics showing a rise in cycle crashes.
And in July, a source on the government’s influential Transport Advisory Committee called for “more enforcement on the proper cycling behaviour of cyclists”, blaming food delivery cyclists for a rise in crashes and cycle injuries.
TAC’s own chairman, Professor Stephen Cheung Yan-leung, pointed out this may be inaccurate, instead claiming police analysis showed solo cyclists were a danger to themselves. “The conclusion is, the cyclists need to learn a bit more how to control the bicycle before they go out on the bicycle,” he told Transit Jam in July.
Data on the prevalence and nature of cycling in Hong Kong is not publicly available.