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Daily Archives: December 7, 2007

Parking fine payments double

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by Nigel Huxtable


The number of parking tickets paid in the last month almost doubled compared with October as tougher penalties for non-payment began taking affect, according to figures released by Public Security Police yesterday.



In November motorists paid 9,651 illegal parking tickets, more than half of the 16,776 issued for the month.

The paid tickets represent a rise of more than 80 percent over October when 5,346 issued tickets were settled.

From October 1, a new traffic law was brought in. Additional to regulations regarding the use of seat-belts and mobile phones, tougher penalties for non-payment of parking fines were introduced.

Vehicle and motorbike drivers with outstanding tickets are no longer able to renew their license and registration until the tickets are paid.

The move sparked numerous demonstrations with thousands of scooter-riding protesters demanding more legal parking spots.

The number of parking tickets handed out rose by more than 14 percent last month compared with October with a total of 16,776 notices written for parking meter offences and “prosecutions on public roads”.

Under the new system drivers receive a 20 percent discount for paying a parking fine within two weeks of receiving it.

The month of the Macau Grand Prix saw speeding infringements drop by more than 40 percent to 1,025 for the month.

Regulations prohibiting the use of a mobile phone while driving also appear to be having affect with the number of infringements dropping from 49 in October to 20 last month. Vehicles that were caught running a red light also dropped from 217 in October to 106 last month.

More than 530,330 tickets have been issued to November this year up more than 10 percent over last year.

The police were unable to provide monthly payment figures for previous months.


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US man acquitted after 15 years on death row

A jury in the southern US state of Tennessee Wednesday acquitted a man who spent more than 15 years on death row for a murder he did not commit, court sources said.

Michael McCormick, 55, was sentenced to death in 1987 for the murder of Donna Jean Nichols, 23. Nichols was killed at dawn on February 14, 1985 as she left a nightclub, and her body was found in a shopping mall parking lot.

After a long legal battle the case was overturned in a retrial on the grounds that McCormick was given an inadequate defense. In 2001 DNA tests of hair that had been a key element linking McCormick to the murder showed it was not his.

Following a retrial in the town of Chattanooga, which opened one week ago, prosecutors had only McCormick's alleged confession — which police secretly recorded — as evidence.

Prosecutors said that McCormick killed Nichols to prevent her from reporting to police a theft carried out by McCormick and the victim's brother.

But after nearly seven hours of deliberations the jury concluded that McCormick's reputation as a liar destroyed any credibility of his alleged confession.

Local television images showed McCormick breaking down in tears after hearing the verdict.