The government will increase illegal parking fine amounts by 50 percent in 2017, Secretary for Transport and Housing Anthony Cheung Bing-leung announced on Friday.

This means car owners will have to pay HK$480 for a traffic ticket in the future. If they are present when their vehicles are found parked in non-parking spaces, the fine is HK$680.

illegal parking fines
A policeman issuing a traffic ticket.

Cheung said the increase is justified by inflation as the current parking fines have not been adjusted since 1994. He revealed parking offences have been on the rise in Hong Kong, going up from 750,000 cases in 2010 to 1.08 million last year. The government hopes the heavier penalties will help reduce traffic jams.

anthony cheung
Secretary for Housing and Tansport Anthony Cheung.

Cheung also revealed the government will launch a three-month public consultation on an electronic road pricing pilot scheme. Under the scheme, private car drivers will have to pay to use busy roads in Central and surrounding areas during traffic peak time.

Vivienne Zeng is a journalist from China with three years' experience covering Hong Kong and mainland affairs. She has an MA in journalism from the University of Hong Kong. Her work has been featured on outlets such as Al Jazeera+ and MSNBC.