Home Legislators Urging the Government again to amend the Road Traffic Law to increase the penalties for jaywalking

Urging the Government again to amend the Road Traffic Law to increase the penalties for jaywalking

Lo Choi In, Macao Livelihood and Economy Alliance

Despite the completion of this year’s policy debate earlier, the public has yet to receive a clear response and a satisfactory answer from the Government on road traffic planning, an issue of great concern to the public.

Recently, the traffic enforcement departments have produced a promotional video targeted at jaywalking, and the relevant video has won the unanimous approval of the public. The approach is certainly worthy of recognition, but contrary to our wishes, the phenomenon of jaywalking still occurs every day, especially in scenic spots and checkpoints, where the situation of jaywalking is very serious at certain peak hours, and there are even cases of large-scale collective jaywalking. Messages and photos of jaywalking can also be found on social network traffic platforms. Jaywalkers are already a daily threat to every motorist.

During the policy debate last month, I repeatedly mentioned three major elements in transport planning: legislation and enforcement, education and works. Among them, in respect of education and publicity, the work done by the authorities concerned is evident to all. It is hoped that the authorities concerned can further extend the relevant publicity and education work to different platforms and consider collaborating with non-government organisations to re-launch the large-scale, campaign-style publicity of Transport Publicity Month.

As for law enforcement, the figures provided by the authorities concerned show that the number of prosecutions against jaywalking between January and October this year was some 2 000, that is, less than eight prosecutions were instituted each day.
In contrast, there were as many as 400 000 prosecutions against illegal parking, that is, an average of more than 1 300 tickets were issued every day. As such, the ratio of law enforcement is certainly insufficient, and this will give rise to queries and criticisms from members of the public, therefore I urge the authorities concerned to allocate manpower resources to step up law enforcement.

On the legislative front, I also urge the department in charge of administration and law enforcement to expeditiously submit to the Legislative Council a bill on amending the Road Traffic Law and increasing the relevant penalties, so as to enhance the responsibility of the act itself and strengthen the deterrent effect. The management department responsible for traffic planning should all the more start with traffic planning and design. It should continuously review, improve and optimise the existing traffic planning facilities, including the reasonable provision of road crossing facilities, and introducing an intelligent flashing light system as well as implementing adjustments to the traffic light system.

Pedestrians crossing the road indiscriminately is certainly reckless of their own safety, but under the principle of the law to protect the disadvantaged, for the law-abiding motorists, it may constitute a risk of high compensation.

Of course, it is understandable that the law has to protect the relatively disadvantaged, but times have changed, and the road traffic situation in Macau has changed drastically, so the SAR Government and the relevant departments cannot turn a blind eye to this. As a responsible government, it should also evaluate the situation and take measures to deal with the chaotic situation, so as to respond to the demands of the society.

Macau Economic and Livelihood Alliance

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