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Pavement block fine proposed:Legislators discuss if $1,500 fixed penalty is effective

2014.03.28
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LAWMAKERS said a planned fixed penalty of HK$1,500 would still not stop shops from obstructing pavements outside their premises.

The government recently launched a four-month consultation on the issue.

Secretary for Home Affairs (民政事務局局長) Tsang Tak-sing (曾德成) said currently Hong Kong has 45 places listed as black spots for shop obstructions. But the penalty requires a lengthy procedure before it comes into effect. The general fi ne of HK$500 was just “a drop in the bucket” for shops.

A fixed penalty of HK$1,500 has been suggested. At a meeting of the Legislative Council (立法會) home affairs panel on Monday, legislator Leung Che-cheung (梁志祥) said he was unsure whether the fixed penalty would deter shop operators. “I wonder if the penalty ticket can be issued more than once?” he asked.

Deputy Director of Home Affairs (民政事務總署副署長) Patrick Li Pak-chuen (李百全) said that details need to be discussed. But the repeated issue of tickets is allowed a reasonable time after the first issue.

Li said his department believes the move will be effective.

“We need to strengthen frontline staff law enforcement. Besides, we need to step up public education on their understanding of the issue to enhance discussion in society and reach a consensus,” Li said.

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