Tuesday, December 1, 2015   


Kelly Ip

Monday, December 17, 2012

Police have declared a clampdown on motorists blocking roads in Central, dishing out 73,000 fixed-penalty tickets in the first 11 months this year.

That's nearly double the 37,000 tickets issued in the same period last year - or an average of 218 tickets every day.

Central assistant district commander Leung Yan-kit said a major cause of congestion was goods vehicles loading and unloading on busy streets.

"In the past we used to give lorry drivers verbal warnings or asked them to move along but since the situation has become more serious we have become stricter on illegal parking," Leung said.

At times even lorry drivers have become desperate, calling the police to report vehicles illegally parking in loading bay and occupying the spaces after officers drove the early birds away.

"We don't have all the manpower we need to cover every infringement so we hope drivers can be self-disciplined," Leung said.

He said reports about illegal parking in Central increased 15 percent to 6,900 in the first nine months.

Some armored vehicles belonging to security companies parked illegally while not delivering or removing money.

Security companies are generally exempted from illegal parking if they are carrying out their duties.

"They should leave after making a delivery but, based on our observations, some of these security guards park their vehicles illegally while eating from lunch boxes or playing with their mobile phones," he said.

A spokesman for security comp
any G4S said the guards normally park their vehicles as close as possible to their destinations and will leave immediately as they have to ensure the safety of their consignments.

Leung said drivers waiting for employers add to the traffic woes in Central while some taxi drivers stop in restricted areas to pick up or set down passengers.

"Sometimes, a three-lane road effectively becomes one lane when cars park or wait on the second lane," Leung said.

This year police stopped giving verbal warnings, as they often did in the past, and will continue to act tough.

"Central district's roads are narrow," Leung said. "It's better to have people waiting for cars rather than the other way around."

There are 17 congestion black spots in Central, including Ice House Street, Hollywood Road, Pedder Street and Chater Road.

Police have set up a temporary taxi station at Lan Kwai Fong during weekends for those leaving bars late at night.

Central and Western District Council member Cheng Lai-king agreed traffic congestion in Central is getting severe.

"Even though police have been getting tougher, the situation has not improved much," she said.

"With Christmas approaching, more people are using their cars to go shopping and the traffic congestion will only get worse."

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