10. Related to parking
Parking offences are probably the most common offence to be committed by a driver. To put it simply, in general a driver cannot park on any road unless parking meters are present. But what exactly is “parking”?
Regulation 2(1) of the Road Traffic (Parking) Regulations (Cap.374C of the Laws of Hong Kong) defines parking as “the standing of a vehicle, whether occupied or not, except when standing temporarily for the purpose of and while actually engaged in loading or unloading or picking up or setting down passengers”. The key word here is of course “temporarily”. The Court will consider factual circumstances such as the flow of the traffic at the material time, to decide whether or not the vehicle is standing “temporarily”.
- Mr. P, had a heated quarrel with his wife while driving along Queen’s Road Central. He became so agitated that he stopped the vehicle in the middle of the road and just left the scene (and also his poor wife alone in the vehicle). What he had in his mind was: I don’t care; I don’t mind being given a parking ticket; after all, it costs only a few hundred dollars.
One further note: most drivers probably believe that they can continue to park a vehicle at a parking space as long as they continue to feed the meter. Well, that is not true. Drivers should be reminded of regulation 8 of theRoad Traffic (Parking) Regulations (Cap.374C of the Laws of Hong Kong), which provides that “Any person who parks a vehicle in a parking place for a continuous period of more than 24 hours commits an offence and is liable to a fine of $2,000”.