The stepped-up campaign against illegal parking has drawn accusations of unfair treatment with traffic policemen seen bearing down on delivery vehicles while ignoring violations involving private sedans.
Police officers issued a total of 37,306 illegal parking tickets to violators between July 20 and 26, or about one-eighth of last year’s total of 1.3 million citations, public broadcaster RTHK reports.
Each illegal parking citation carries a fixed penalty of HK$320, or nearly HK$12 million for the seven-day period.
However, according to news website hk01.com, which monitored the campaign for three days, law enforcement has been selective, especially in Wan Chai, Central and Causeway Bay.
Police officers were seen regularly patrolling streets where delivery trucks usually parked but were seldom seen in areas where there were many illegally parked private sedans.
Drivers of minivans and light trucks who stopped to unload goods received up to seven tickets without prior warning in no parking zones along Paterson Street and Great George Street in Causeway Bay and Wyndham Street in Central.
Meanwhile, many sedans illegally parked in front of grade A office buildings in the area did not receive any tickets during the three days.
Police officers were rarely seen in sites where many private cars were illegally parked, such as Chater Road and Ice House Street in Central, Sunning Road in Causeway Bay, and in front of Yung Kee and Luk Yu restaurants on Stanley Street in Central.
However, two delivery vans that temporarily stopped on Chater Road were immediately issued illegal parking tickets.
The unfair treatment was more obvious on Sunning Road in Causeway Bay in the morning, hk01.com said.
At least 10 luxury cars were seen illegally parked along the street, occupying an entire lane and forcing delivery truck drivers to stop at the central lane.
A police officer who passed by took no heed of the situation.
In Kowloon, minibuses were found occupying entire lanes in the busy streets of Mong Kok, but, again, traffic enforcers were often nowhere to be found.
Tung Choi Street and Fa Yuen Street had become virtual terminals with more than 20 minibuses operated by Chiu Luen Public Light Bus Co. Ltd. parked at two of the three lanes, waiting for passengers.
Other minibuses were seen at a parking lot reserved for disabled persons.
During hk01.com’s monitoring from July 24 to 26, only a few police officers were seen patrolling the area, and all of them were ignoring the very rampant parking violations.
Legislator Gary Fan Kwok-wai, a member of the transport panel of the Legislative Council, said the government should designate more public parking spaces and deploy more police officers to tackle the illegal parking problem.
Translation by Chloe Chow
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