LCQ8: Establishment of Traffic Wardens
It is learnt that since the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance (Cap. 611) came into operation in December 2011, the duties of issuing Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to drivers who have contravened the requirement that vehicle engines must not be kept idling (commonly known as "the idling engine ban") have been taken up mainly by the Traffic Wardens of the Hong Kong Police Force. Their workload has therefore increased substantially, but no adjustment has been made to the staff establishment of the grade. Some union representatives have pointed out that the lack of competitiveness of the remuneration of Traffic Wardens has led to a serious manpower wastage of the grade in recent years. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of (i) the respective numbers of Traffic Wardens who departed and those who were appointed to each Land Region of the Police Force, as well as (ii) the staff establishment of Traffic Wardens of each Land Region and the year-on-year changes of that number at year-end, in each of the past three years;
(2) of the respective numbers of FPNs issued last year by Traffic Wardens of each Land Region in respect of (i) illegal parking and (ii) contravention of the idling engine ban;
(3) as some union representatives have pointed out that newly appointed Traffic Wardens cannot perform their duties due to the authorities' delay in arranging induction training courses and relevant assessment for them, whether the authorities will adopt measures to improve that situation; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;
(4) as I have learnt that the tight manpower supply has made it difficult for quite a number of Traffic Wardens under the Old Pension Scheme to be given permission to take their annual leave, whether the authorities will adopt measures to improve that situation; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and
(5) whether the authorities will review and adjust the remuneration and conditions of service of and the promotion opportunities for the Traffic Warden grade, so as to attract new blood to join the grade; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Traffic Wardens under the Police are responsible for enforcement duties under the Fixed Penalty (Traffic Contraventions) Ordinance (Cap. 237) and the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance (Cap. 611), as well as managing and directing vehicles and pedestrians.
My reply to the various parts of the Hon Starry Lee's question is as follows.
(1) In 2011, the Police created 18 additional Traffic Warden posts (i.e. 6 per cent increase in establishment) to handle new workload arising from the commencement of the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance. In the past three years, the establishment of Traffic Wardens (including Senior Traffic Wardens and Traffic Wardens) in the five land regions of the Police remained unchanged. Details are set out below:
|Hong Kong Island||81|
|New Territories South||51|
|New Territories North||30|
The manpower change of Traffic Wardens in the abovementioned land regions in the past three years are as follows:
|Leaving the service||1||5||2|
|Transfer to other Government Departments||13||8||19|
(2) The numbers of Fixed Penalty Tickets (FPTs) issued by the Police against various offences under the the Fixed Penalty (Traffic Contraventions) Ordinance broken down by the five land regions in the past three years are set out below:
|No. of FPTs issued|
|Hong Kong Island||220 421||268 544||328 429|
|Kowloon East||137 273||194 503||237 281|
|Kowloon West||328 877||371 494||453 621|
|New Territories South||163 693||201 633||224 073|
|New Territories North||216 290||289 938||366 224|
|Total||1 066 554||1 326 112||1 609 628|
The Police have not maintained breakdown figures on the number of FPTs issued by Traffic Wardens in the land regions.
As for enforcement actions under the Motor Vehicle Idling (Fixed Penalty) Ordinance, apart from Traffic Wardens, Environmental Protection Inspectors of the Environmental Protection Department may also issue FPTs. No FPTs were issued by Traffic Wardens in relation to contravention of the idling engine in 2014. A total of three FPTs were issued by Traffic Wardens for the Hong Kong Island, Kowloon East and New Territories South Regions in 2015 and one for the Kowloon East Region in 2016.
(3) According to the Police, recruitment exercises for Traffic Wardens are conducted at regular intervals and suitable candidates selected will usually be offered appointment by batches subject to availability of vacancies. Newly appointed Traffic Wardens will receive four-week induction training. Upon completion of training, they will be deployed to various police districts immediately to fill the vacancies. Therefore, there is no case of newly appointed Traffic Wardens unable to perform their duties due to delay in arranging induction training and relevant assessment. For candidates who are not offered appointment immediately due to the unavailability of vacancies, their names will be put on a waiting list. As soon as vacancies arise, they will be offered appointment and will receive induction training immediately.
(4) The duties of a Traffic Warden include managing and directing vehicles and pedestrians. This aspect of work is particularly important during festive seasons when more large scale public events are held. In general, annual leave to be taken by Traffic Wardens (regardless of their terms of appointment) will be subject to the operational needs of police districts and upon coordination between frontline management and the Traffic Wardens concerned. The arrangement aims to ensure adequate manpower in police districts in coping with the workload.
(5) The Government will review from time to time the terms of appointment of Traffic Wardens with a view to recruiting suitable candidates to join the grade.
Ends/Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:05
Issued at HKT 16:05