Vehicle idling penalty comes into force in HK

Updated: 2011-12-15 18:58


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HONG KONG - The Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance came into operation in Hong Kong on Thursday, according to the city's Environmental Protection Department.

The ordinance prohibits drivers from leaving their vehicle engines idling for more than three minutes in any 60-minute period. Drivers that do so will get a penalty notice and will be liable to a 320 HK dollars (about $41) fine. The law will be enforced all year round on all roads, including private roads and car parks.

Traffic Wardens and Environmental Protection Inspectors are empowered to enforce the law and have received relevant training. In the first month of implementation, law-enforcement staff will give drivers verbal advice first and will issue a penalty notice only if the warning is not heeded.

The ordinance aims to reduce the environmental nuisance idling engines cause, and encourages drivers to take up the green driving habit of switching off their engines to improve air quality and protect public health.

Exemptions include periods during which the very hot weather warning or the amber, red and black rainstorm warning signals have been issued, until midnight on that day; instances during which a motor vehicle is stationary because of traffic conditions or because a passenger is boarding or alighting from the vehicle; and situations during which a driver cannot prevent an engine from idling because of a mechanical difficulty.

There are exemptions for the transport sector and specific circumstances of certain vehicles, taking into account operational needs. (one US dollar = 7.8 HK dollars)