Tourist buses in sights for quick-fire parking tickets

Top News | Cindy Wan 16 May 2019

Police plan to issue electronic fixed penalty tickets at tourist hotspots in To Kwa Wan and Hung Hom under a pilot scheme that should start this year.

In a written reply to legislators, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Edward Yau Tang-wah said the pilot scheme will enhance the efficiency of law enforcement to combat the rampant illegal parking problems of tourist buses in these two areas.

Under the scheme, drivers will receive print-out penalty tickets instead of conventional handwritten ones if they are caught parking illegally within designated areas.

Front-line law-enforcement officers will be equipped with smart mobile devices to access data of vehicles that are found to have parked illegally and to then print out the penalty tickets instantly.

Residents in Hung Hom and To Kwa Wan have been complaining about traffic and overcrowding problems brought on by mainland tour groups, who appear in large numbers on a daily basis and swamp the districts for dining and shopping.

Tour coaches often double park along narrow roads and clog streets to drop off and pick up passengers, raising concerns about safety.

To address the issue, the Transport Department is looking to find suitable locations to add new on-street parking spaces and grant short-term tenancy car parks, Yau said.

The government does not keep records of accidents involving tour buses, but the 195 accidents involving non-franchised single-deck buses between 2014 and last year claimed the lives of six people and left 20 severely injured in Kowloon City.

Police have issued 4,192 penalty tickets to tour buses in Kowloon City between May 2017 and last month, Yau added.

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