Around 20 red minibus drivers blocked off a junction outside Langham Place in Mong Kok with their vehicles on Wednesday evening after discontent arose over a traffic ticket, sparking a three-hour standoff with the police. One minibus driver has been arrested and released on bail.
The incident kicked off at around 9pm at the minibus terminal on Shanghai Street. A minibus driver, 62, returned to his vehicle to find a police officer issuing a traffic ticket for violating traffic regulations.
The driver then hopped into the vehicle and drove into the bus terminus and was said to have crossed double white lines on the road while doing so.
A senior police officer was about to issue another traffic ticket for dangerous driving when the driver suddenly drove the vehicle forward. The officer said that his right hand was hit.
A number of drivers then blocked off parts of Shanghai Street with their vehicles in protest. Three out of four traffic lanes were taken over by red minibuses.
Eyewitnesses told Apple Daily that they saw police being physically violent.
During the confrontation, a minibus driver was heard to shout, “Occupy Nathan Road!”
Due to the stand-off, vehicles were unable turn into Shanghai Street from Argyle Street, causing a long line of traffic that extended towards Mong Kok Road.
The police and minibus drivers were able to reach a consensus at around midnight. Drivers moved their vehicles off the roads and traffic gradually returned to normal. The 62-year-old driver was arrested for driving dangerously and released on bail. Both the driver and police officer were sent to hospital.
Minibus drivers’ representatives will reportedly head to a meeting at the Mong Kok Police Station on Thursday afternoon to discuss the incident.
The incident came amid a series of police crackdowns on red minibuses in the neighbourhood. Some drivers were said to have repeatedly violated traffic regulations.
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