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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Road rage at long lines for licensing

Road rage at long lines for licensing

Drivers had to wait for up to seven hours at the Transport Department's licensing offices on the first day service resumed, with the queue extending into the street.
It issued a statement later in the day, calling on people not to rush to pick up or renew licenses, but many waiting in line said their licenses has expired during the suspension of services over the past few months.

Yesterday marked the full resumption of walk-in counter services to process all licensing and related applications.

At the Kowloon licensing office, more than 1,000 people were in the queue, as the waiting crowds extended from the second floor of Cheung Sha Wan government offices down into the streets.

Signs inside indicated the waiting time for walk-in applications was up to seven hours.

"I have waited for three hours from 8.45am and I may have to wait until 5pm," one driver said.

A motorcyclist, Mak, said he was forced to stop riding after his license expired when the department's licensing offices were closed because of the pandemic.

"I could not ride my motorcycle and had to wait until today. I hope I can ride my motorcycle immediately after renewing my license," he said.

In its statement, the Transport Department appealed to the public not to rush to the licensing offices to submit applications unless one's license is about to expire or has already expired.

"The Transport Department will, as far as practicable, accord priority to processing renewal applications for licenses and permits for which the validity period has expired or is about to expire," it said.

It added that the licensing offices will strengthen crowd-control measures and people have to follow the instructions from staff on site.

"[Drivers] are encouraged to use the online booking service as far as possible to reduce crowds gathering and waiting time in the licensing offices," it said.

"The public may also submit applications via the drop-in boxes at the licensing offices, by post or online to suit their needs To avoid delays, they should submit applications three to four weeks before the expiry dates as far as practicable.

Meanwhile, drivers in Cheung Sha Wan were unhappy over traffic policemen ticketing them for illegal parking, as a police vehicle was seen surrounded by several drivers who quarreled with policemen inside on Tuesday night.

The altercation began after the police officers issued 16 tickets for illegal parking on Hoi Lai Street, Cheung Sha Wan, around 8pm on Tuesday.

Two 57-year-old retirees, Tsang and So, scolded the officers and stood in the middle of the road to stop officers from leaving. Their acts attracted around 30 others and some of them surrounded the police van.

Tsang and So were arrested for disorderly conduct in a public place and obstructing the police on Wednesday night.

The police said the two men had not been ticketed for illegal parking as they parked elsewhere in Cheung Sha Wan on Tuesday night. They are out on bail. Officers have not ruled out more arrests.

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