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a. Jaywalking

The most common traffic offence to be committed by a pedestrian is probably jaywalking, i.e. crossing a road without regard to the traffic light signal.  Regulation 33(6) of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations(Cap.374G of the Laws of Hong Kong) prescribes that every pedestrian at a crossing that has traffic lights shall comply with the prevailing light signal; and regulation 61(2) of the same Regulations stipulates that any person contravening regulation 33(6) “without reasonable excuse” is liable to a fine of $2,000. 

 

1. Mr. J crossed a road irrespective of the red light signal.  He argued that despite the red light signal, he had carefully checked that there was no vehicle approaching.  He therefore believed that it was safe to cross the road and proceeded to do so.  Did Mr. J’s argument amount to a “reasonable excuse”, so that he was not liable under Regulation 33(6) of the Road Traffic (Traffic Control) Regulations (Cap.374G of the Laws of Hong Kong)?

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