THE Legislative Council has approved a sharp 25 percent jump of fines for five congestionrelated offences from 1 June.
The penalty for picking up or dropping off passengers in restricted zones will go up from HK$450 to HK$560.
The fine for the other four offences – making a U-turn and causing obstruction to traffic, unlawfully entering box junctions, unauthorised stopping at bus and minibus stops and taxi stands, and stopping buses, minibuses and taxis for longer than necessary – will go up from HK$320 to HK$400.
The government proposed last February to increase the fixed penalty for illegal parking, as well as six congestion-related traffic offences by 50 percent.
However, the increment was later cut to 25 percent due to opposition from both the pro-democracy and pro-establishment camps, while the penalty for illegal parking remained unchanged at HK$320.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan Fan (運輸及房屋局局長陳帆) said the reduced modifications “may not be most effective” in combating the offences, but the government is willing to accept them as an “important small step” forward.
Some 1.68 million fixed penalty tickets were issued last year, up 14 percent from 2016.
Some lawmakers expressed doubts over the effectiveness of the hikes. One said it would only affect the livelihood of commercial drivers.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 25 January 2018)
Secretary for Transport and Housing on increasing traffi c offences penalty
Combat illegal parking