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Hong Kong - Driving
Parking can be an issue in Hong Kong. If you live in a newer apartment complex then there will probably be parking available, although you might be charged a monthly fee for it. In an older complex, parking might be more difficult to find and you could discover that you must park quite a distance from your dwelling.
Fuel is considered to be one of the chief expenses associated with driving in Hong Kong. Although the actual price can vary, it is generally around HK$15 per liter (or US$7.60 per gallon).
The average maximum speed is 50 km/h unless there is a sign that shows otherwise. Road conditions are considered good in Hong Kong and although Hong Kong Island itself is considered to be congested and busy, there are areas in the New Territories that are not as busy. On roads with faster traffic the speed limit may be 70 km/h, 80 km/h or even 100 km/h.
Although Hong Kong Island can be heavily congested, in other areas of the Hong Kong there are fewer cars on the road and the rural areas can even be free from traffic depending on the time of day you’re there.
Seatbelts must be worn in vehicles. You don’t have to wear one when you are reversing or carrying out a three-point turn, but you must wear one when the vehicle is going forward. All front seat passengers in private vehicles are required to wear them. Two or more individuals cannot share a seat belt at the same time. In addition, any passenger under the age of 15 should be securely fastened to his seat by means of an approved child restraint.
Hong Kong’s driving rules are similar to those in Western countries. If there is a traffic island with a 'Keep left' sign in the middle of the road then you must pass to the left of the island. A single broken line in the middle of the road is a 'Center' line and you should drive to the left of it except when you’re overtaking a vehicle. If the line is a single broken one in the middle with long markings and short gaps then this is a 'Hazard warning' line and shouldn’t be crossed until you can see that the way is clear.
When you approach a roundabout, you must turn left and give way to any traffic on your immediate right. Pedestrians have the right of way. If the road is clear, you may continue moving. If there are two lanes at the entrance to a roundabout then motorists must follow the path shown by the solid line or the path shown by the broken line if it’s safe to continue. If there are more than two lanes at the roundabout’s entrance, use the clearest convenient lane on approach.
For information regarding the road users code in Hong Kong, visit: http://www.td.gov.hk/en/road_safety/road_users_code/index.html
Hong Kong’s urban areas are heavily congested in the daylight hours. There are around 14,000 traffic accidents in Hong Kong every year that involve more than 18,000 drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Dangerous driving that causes death can result in a fine of $50,000 HK ($6,500 US), imprisonment for five years and disqualification from driving for not less than two years. Drivers who are involved in a traffic accident must undergo alcohol-level testing. If your blood alcohol exceeds the legal limit, you may face prosecution under Hong Kong law. Using a hand-held cell phones while driving in Hong Kong is illegal and, if caught, you could be subjected to a maximum fine of $2,000 HK. “Hands-free devices” are permitted, however.
For more information, you can visit the Road Safety Council’s website.
Road Safety Council
Road Safety Council Secretariat,
32th floor, Arsenall House,
No.1 Arsenal Street,
Wan Chai, Hong Kong
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