A traffic police officer was charged for seven counts of driving while disqualified and ten counts of driving without third party insurance, but he said the mistakes were made since he thought the licence suspension period was three, not six months.

Cheung Wai-lun, an officer of the Kowloon West traffic division, was suspended from driving for six months due to speeding in August 2014. However, he was caught driving into his police station and speeding between November 2014 and January this year when his licence was suspended.

He admitted to eight counts of driving while disqualified and driving without third party insurance at the Kowloon City Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, Apple Daily reported.

Cheung Wai-lun (left) and a traffic police officer on duty. and Police.

The defending side said that Cheung had been required to join a driving improvement course in the last three months of suspension. He thought he could drive after completing the course and that the suspension was only for three months. Thus, he drove to the station every morning afterwards.

A disqualified driver is required to surrender their licence. Deputy Magistrate Lam Tsz-kan questioned why Cheung was able to drive without his licence.

Cheung replied that he lost his licence when he was suspended and, although he reported the loss, he found it a few days later. However, he did not cancel the loss report and said he thought he could use his old licence after the suspension.

Lam said that being a traffic officer, Cheung should have known to surrender the licence after he found it. Cheung also should have known his disqualification was for six months, Lam added.

When asked why he went over the speed limit, Cheung replied it was because it was in a emergency.

Lam said that Cheung’s reasoning was unbelievable, but his story did check out. He did join a driving improvement course after three months of suspension, and he did only drive to work after the course.

Cheung’s explanation was accepted by Lam, although Lam stated that it was a special situation.

The sentencing will be heard on January 7, and Lam has been allowed to post bail.

Kris Cheng

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.