× HKMBA Mountain Biking Advocacy 香港越野單車協進會

AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...

6 years 5 months ago #2791 by YW-Slayer
Replied by YW-Slayer on topic AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...
You can check with Legal Aid to see whether you are eligible. But as it's a summons and not a committal proceeding, I highly doubt it. www.lad.gov.hk/eng/las/criminal/scope.html

Traditionally, what you mentioned would be best for mitigation, in that you can only use it either if you plead guilty or are convicted and explain why you did what you had to do and hope that will lead to a more lenient fine (or even the lack of one).

If you want to fight the charge, you'll need to get lawyered up and see what you can run. I am not sure that you can run a necessity-type defence for strict liability offences like this one. There may have been a technical defect such as their having failed to prosecute you or issue the summons in time, which may be worth taking. You may also have to think about constitutional points.

Michael Vidler may be worth talking to. He cycles to work everyday and regularly handles a lot of cycling-related cases (including the notorious one which concluded earlier this year).

If it were me, I'd think seriously about just paying the HK$300-500 fine unless you want to take a stand on the topic for some reason. Litigation is neither easy nor cheap, and it does put a drain on you, even for minor things like this (which if you contest will probably be blown up into a major topic).

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6 years 5 months ago #2788 by StanleyJ
Replied by StanleyJ on topic AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...
Blah. 3 and a bit months letter... a court summons appears in my post. According to the letter, I contravened regulations 4(1) and 20(1) of the Country Parks Ordinance, Cap. 208... which according to this are:

4(1) Subject to subregulation 4(2), no person shall, except with the consent of the Authority, bring into a country park or special area any vehicle or bicycle, or drive, use or be in possession of any vehicle or bicycle within a country park or special area.

20(1) Any person who contravenes regulation 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13(3) commits an offence and is liable to a fine at level 1 and to imprisonment for 3 months and, where the offence is a continuing offence to an additional fine of $100 for each day during which the offence has continued.

For the curious, I was at "point A" inside Tai Lam, on the legal trail just before it heads down the stairs and to the rough-and-ready Ho Pui Pass (I believe?) and back home(-ish) at "point B". Met the AFCD Gestap-whoops... wardens at the little white dot along the WSD path... if you and beginner level friend was at the same spot, it was starting to get dark (~5pm), taking the illegal water-catchment route would be the safest and most logical choice.

Ho Pui Pass is inappropriate for a beginner level rider at the best of conditions and back-tracking and going that way would have certainly meant having to traverse it whilst it was dark (wasn't expecting to use lights, so didn't bring them). A massive detour and exiting via Tai Tong (westwards) or Siu Lam (southwards) would have still had the issue of being inside the CP when it was dark (as it would take 1~2 hours!), which aside from having no lights, it's against some other stupid AFCD (by?)law that no riding shall take place after sunset.

goo.gl/maps/bFvg8

I'm aware the fine is around HK$300~HK$500, and whilst it wouldn't exactly cause hardship to just cough up (but 500 bucks is still 500 bucks!), I do believe the law is an ass. Then again I literally don't have the funds to fight a case (not sure if legal aid would even apply?). Kick up a fuss anyway?

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6 years 8 months ago #2651 by tom
Replied by tom on topic AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...
Hey Ratcat,

I would not say power tripping in a uniform is isolated to the Chinese culture. Certainly there seem to be more uniforms here given the concentration or raw numbers but you only have to read the news from around the world to see what is happening when men don a uniform (that includes a sidearm). Even in my home country the police are generally regarded as thugs and bullies and I would not risk even saying a polite and cheerful 'hello' or "good morning' in passing. In HK I dont feel that the police are out to intimidate or provoke passers by.

So back to my comment. I did qualify it with "in a weird sort of way" which means that from one perspective I can see this a helping the cause of mountain bikers in HK. Many, if not most, riders here consider all trails as "open for business" regardless of whether they are legal or not so they have never felt the need to push for more trails and consider advocacy orgs like the HKMBA irrelevant. MTB has a very poor perception problem and riders flowing down illegal trails does not help...

So my thinking was this at the time: if bikers truly realized just how limited the legal trail network is here then they would be more willing to step up and help in the cause to get more legal trails opened. As it stands there are only a handful of us making this push and we are all worn down by both the lack of progress (only "Tiny Tin") after four years of hard slogging and the lack of new people willing to help out by taking up the fight.

Things are improving but never as quickly or transparently as we would like. Folks did come out in huge numbers to build trails last year and that was fantastic. I can assure you that trail building is the fun part of the job and if that all there was to do to improve the legal trail network then the HKMBA would have no trouble attracting people to help out.

Advocacy work and challenging the authorities to change the status quo is the hard and painful part of the HKMBA's role. Its a very negative path where you will hear "no" over and over and deal with very unenlightened people who hold all the cards and simply refuse to change for no logical or reasonable reason. There are powerful and connected groups that quietly act against us. But this work takes passion, commitment, perseverance and a thick hide. Plus its all done on a volunteer basis.

My tour of duty is nearly coming to end so the HKMBA needs new forces to join our core team and keep up the fight. So if you and other bikers do not like the fact that trail networks still suck and you have the passion to fight then please step up, the HKMBA desperately needs you!

Tom

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6 years 8 months ago #2649 by ratcat
Replied by ratcat on topic AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...
Hi Tom.

I have doubts about your comment about supporting the crack down. To remind you, HK is part of China and Chinese culture endorses an authoritarian government. After 97, HK become part of China. Under the British, HK enjoy a more relaxed type of authority.

Now all authoritarian type of government behaves more or less the same way, that is solving all problems with only one method which is based on authority. More illegal riding only equates beefing up security and tougher measures. Just check the laws and codes on AFCD web site, you may be jailed for riding a bicycle in restricted zone. So if more legal riding continues, one day there will be a rider who will be charged and will end up in jail.

This is the Chinese way. On the big scale, pro-democratic protest are challenged with more and more police violence. And to remind you, people are killed and arrest in China by their own government, a government in which we HK folks are under.

You see, it is in our blood this uniform fetish. Even when the uniform is just a security uniform for a private company. Today, I was at a friends place. I arrived first. And then an hour later my other friend enter escorted by a security guard. Apparently upon entering a private housing estate, the guard was exceptionally rude and demanded they showed their HK ID card which my friends refused. A fight almost broke. When you put a Chinese in an authoritative uniform, their character change. (I am just talking about most Chinese, there are good guys too and this is only the general truth) What I am saying is that the idea of face is over value in our culture. And hey, he was only a private estate security guard. These kind of things happen everyday, every hour.

Now, the reasonable thing to do for Stanley would be give him a firm warning and kick him out of the park area. I would imagine folks in Yellow Stone Park would have done just that. I mean my god riding a bicycle, endangering no one. Yet this action mobilizes our judicial system. Why these people don't give people a chance, because they feel they will loose face. As far as I know, no chance was ever given in the 5 year riding experience.

I say this because I know, I am also Chinese.

HKMBA (and plus maybe along side with other parties in which I may not be aware of) had work so hard to get them opening up the Tiny Tin Man trail. But soon, the war between MTB and AFCD will rage again. You see the AFCD is now losing face. They think after the opening of Tiny Tin, they will see a reduction in illegal riding. But as a results this result did not occur and in fact, there are even more illegal riding. They feel cheated and face lose, so do expect a greater crack down. And pressure would be felt on those officials who were in favor of the new trail within AFCD structure.

You may say this is absurd but authoritarian thinking is like this. HKMBA to them is some sort of authority. Any association is some sort of authority. It is hard for Chinese in uniform that HKMBA is a collective group and that HKMBA are not responsible for illegal rider.

If HKMBA support a harsher punishment for illegal riders, then AFCD and HKMBA would shake hands again. So maybe when you say you support the crackdown in a weird sort of way, and really in a weird sort of way, your statement is constructive to this relation..... I guess.

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6 years 8 months ago #2646 by donkeyman
Replied by donkeyman on topic AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...
Stanley,

Your post is very timely. I was there last Sunday and was caught pushing my bike on that WSD road / shortcut heading towards Ho Pui. Fortunately I got away with a warning as I had some serious crashes and was clearly injured with bleeding and ripped clothing. Guess they felt sorry for me or didn't want to deal with a smelly, bleeding MTBer :) Interestingly they said that next time I should call an ambulance rather than try to walk back to my car.

It would be nice if they would open this road to bikes generally as it is a good shortcut to TLC Reservoir.

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6 years 8 months ago #2622 by tom
Replied by tom on topic AFCD/WSD recent crackdown...
Hi Stanley,

In a weird sort of way I support the crackdown and its only when things are strictly enforced do folks realize exactly how limited and restricted the legal MTB network is.

Personally, I think its absolutely ridiculous that more WSD roads have not been opened and its so incredibly frustrating that absolutely nothing has changed in years regarding WSD so its probably a good time to apply more pressure on the govt to change things.

I have always felt strongly about protecting the interests of my own backyard (ie., Lamma and Proj-X) and have done my best to make it better through whatever means at my disposal. We have folks in Lantau doing the same but we lack a strong local proponent for Tai Lam. I rarely go out to Tai Lam these days so the HKMBA needs a good local advocate for that area and you seem to have the interest and passion to fight for improvements. So if you (or anyone else) are interested in doing the calling, letter writing and arranging meeting to push for changes/improvements in Tai Lam CP then we could really use your help. Personally I really don't have the time and energy to put into this kind of work as I did a few years ago. Email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested and I will get you started.

Tom

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6 years 8 months ago #2621 by StanleyJ
AFCD/WSD recent crackdown... was created by StanleyJ
Not sure if it's CY Leung being the CE elect this 1st July and the various govt. departments have to be seen to be "getting results" (such as the illegal car parking at Fook Lam Moon aka Tycoon's Canteen in Wan Chai, for years a blind eye turned to)... but anyway, seems there's been a crack-down on bicyclists in and around the Tai Mo Shan/Tai Lam Chung area.

I physically live in Ho Pui and for the last 2 years, have entered Tai Lam Chung via the WSD controlled water catchment perhaps as much as thrice-weekly, without bother all that time, occasionally even seeing road cyclists whom I guess are "illegally" (because the paved "MTB" trails are MTB only and an MTB permit is required) using Tai Lam for some (hardcore) hill training.

Anyway, this bother-free run ended a couple weeks ago whilst cycling out the water catchment and saw a guy looking rather flustered on a folding bike, warning me and my riding friend the AFCD were on the prowl. Being less than 2km from home, I wasn't just going to turn about, so figured just push the bikes along till we saw the AFCD, which we duly did.

So was told the WSD road is "No Cycling", but apparently in the dense literature that came with the AFCD MTB permit, with WSD roads, even the possession of a bicycle is an offence. Pointed it out that the signs dotted around WSD roads don't actually, explicitly state this. Apparently the incursion will be investigated and if they see fit, a warning and/or fine will be levied.

And with the last couple weeks riding on the proper trail, entering Tai Lam CP via Ho Pui Reservoir, whilst mucking about at the Ho Pui picnic area... the AFCD were cracking down on MTBers using Kap Lung and/or bicyclists using the village road/WSD(!?) road between Ho Pui and Lui Kung Tin... which annoys me as that road is actually quite nice to ride on even with a non-MTB bike and a million miles better than having a death-wish and try riding along that section of Kam Sheung Road between Tai Lam Tunnel and Sheung Tsuen/Lui Kung Tin/foot of Route Twisk.

So yeah, pain-in-the-backside WSD & moronic AFCD MTB permits. If only they diverted some of this energy to littering within the CP areas!

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