Hong Kong gov't to submit idling vehicle penalty bill to legislature

22:19, April 15, 2010      

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The Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Bill would be gazetted on Friday and be tabled at the Legislative Council on April 28, an official with Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) said here on Thursday.

Secretary for the Environment, Edward Yau, said the bill aims to introduce a statutory requirement for drivers in Hong Kong to switch off engines while vehicles are stationary, so as to reduce car emissions and noise.

Yau said HKSAR proposes to apply the prohibition against idling vehicles to all motor vehicles equipped with an internal combustion engine, including vehicles powered by petrol, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas, as well as hybrid vehicles. It will be applicable to all roads in Hong Kong, including private roads and car parks.

Meanwhile, the bill will provide a grace period of three-in- sixty minutes to drivers of all motor vehicles, according to Yau. It also offers special exemptions at taxi stands and minibus stands in Hong Kong.

The bill also provides that a driver who contravenes the prohibition against idling vehicles is liable to a fixed penalty of 320 Hong Kong dollars (41.3 U.S. dollars), which is the same as that for illegal parking in Hong Kong.

"The current proposal will strike a reasonable balance between the need to protect the public from nuisances caused by idling vehicles and the operational needs of drivers and the transport trades. We will continue listening to the views of all sectors during scrutiny of the bill," Yau said.

Source: Xinhua


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