World

Errant drivers in China face bizarre punishment

05 Nov 2016 | By Supriya Kaur

Police in Southern China are punishing drivers who violate use of the high-beam in a rather unusual manner.

The Shenzhen Traffic Police is making drivers pay a steep fine of 300 yuan and drivers are made to stare at headlights at high beam as part of their punishment.

The safety driving campaign was well received by most who thought it was long overdue.

In context: China deals with errant drivers innovatively

AboutThe 'high-beam' driving menace

Misuse of headlights on 'high-beam' while driving is a leading cause of accidents worldwide.

In recent years several accidents have been reported in China that were caused by drivers being blinded due to headlights on high-beam from oncoming traffic.

Chinese police have been experimenting with unusual modes of punishment to deal with errant drivers to change driving habits and consequently reduce accidents.

Shenzhen, China

Shenzhen district located in southern China is widely considered as the 'hardware capital' of the world that manufactures phones, drones, smart bikes and more. Shenzhen has been responsible for making use of electric taxis and buses widespread across China.
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Traffic campaignsShenzhen Traffic Police

Shenzhen, located north of Hong Kong, has been at the forefront of safety driving campaigns.

In 2014, the traffic police department in Shenzhen introduced a punishment for drivers violating 'high-beam' use regulations by making them stare into bright-headlights for several minutes.

In 2015, Shenzhen police punished jaywalkers who disregarded crossing signals by making them wear a green hat and directing traffic for 30 minutes.

05 Nov 2016Errant drivers in China face bizarre punishment

DetailsReactions to 'eye-for-eye' campaign

The safety campaign garnered praise from nearly all quarters; a poll on a mainstream news site indicated that 90% of respondents approved of Shenzhen Traffic Police's methods.

Commentators on Weibo, a social-media site, felt the campaign was appropriate for "inconsiderate, selfish drivers" who endangered others.

The campaign also prompted a heated discussion on Weibo whether the unusual punishment could be enforced all across China.