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April 17, 2012

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Police: No crackdown on traffic lights

CITY police denied an online rumor claiming that surveillance cameras will be used to crack down on drivers who run through yellow traffic lights.

The online post, spread via the microblogging site, said police would begin the checks, started late yesterday, on running yellow lights and other acts of dangerous driving such as driving while talking on a cell phone.

The traffic police department dismissed the online chatter as a rumor.

Officers said "a similar rumor appeared before online" and that they "soon found and educated the person who made it."

Yellow light violations sparked media attention after a court in neighboring Zhejiang Province ruled that a driver who ran through the warning signal violated the law, the first such court ruling in China.

The driver, surnamed Shu, was fined but later filed a lawsuit against the traffic police in a local court.

The yellow light warns drivers to slow down at an intersection before the vehicles fully stop for the red light. Laws vary around the country whether drivers will get punished for running yellow lights.

Shanghai's public safety department is working on details to define what the law says. In the view of police officers who direct traffic, it's dangerous when drivers cross through an intersection as the light is about to turn red.

"It's usually the moment when accidents happen," said a police spokesman.


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