6th December 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Hong Kong Government has introduced electronic traffic summons. The Chief Executive, in conjunction with the Executive Council, has decided to further amend multiple existing traffic regulations to allow electronic delivery to vehicle owners, eliminating the requirement for physical posting on vehicles. Once the proposed amendments are passed by the Legislative Council, the regulations will be implemented on a date specified by the Director of Transport and Logistics through official gazette publication. The goal is to gradually implement the system of electronic enforcement of traffic regulations starting in 2024.
According to the government’s submission to the Legislative Council, under current regulations, penalty notices must be handed to the person in charge of the vehicle or affixed to the vehicle itself, or delivered by postal service to the registered vehicle owner or offending driver. As the current framework of Caps 237 and 240 of the traffic regulations does not allow for the issuance of penalty notices in electronic form (“electronic fixed penalty notices”), relevant legislation must be revised to enable electronic traffic enforcement. However, the government will still retain the practice of issuing penalty notices in paper form.
The government will submit the Electronic Traffic Enforcement (Miscellaneous. Amendments) Bill (the “Bill”) as Appendix A to the Legislative Council to amend the Fixed Penalty (Traffic Contraventions) Ordinance (Chapter 237), the Fixed Penalty (Criminal Proceedings) Ordinance (Cap 240), and the Road Traffic Ordinance (Chapter 374). This amendment will allow law enforcement agencies to issue fixed penalty notices electronically for traffic offences or violations. It will also require registered vehicle owners, licensees, and driving licence holders to provide the Director of Transport with their electronic contact information (i.e., email address or telephone number) and notify the Director of Transport within 72 hours of any changes to their electronic contact information. Additionally, electronic notices under the Road Traffic Ordinance will be implemented.
Due to the potential frequent changes in the format of electronic fixed penalty notices, such as the addition of barcodes, QR codes, and tick boxes, as well as modifications to payment information, the government proposed several revisions to facilitate timely updates to the format and improve the flexibility of formatting. This includes the abolition of prescribed formats for fixed penalty notices as stipulated in Chapters 237 and 240, with essential information only specified in Appendixes 237A and 240A.