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August 14, 2018

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Crackdown on driving point trade

SHANGHAI police are cracking down on the illegal sale of driving points to traffic law violators, and their efforts have already nailed a few offenders.

Since traffic cameras record only the license plate numbers of vehicles that perform illegal maneuvers — and not the driver’s identity — some drivers facing point deductions are paying others to take responsibility for their offenses. This has given rise to a class of middlemen and agents who connect traffic offenders with those willing to sacrifice their points for a fee.

Drivers who seek such services, as well as agents and those who falsely claim others’ point deductions, face fines ranging from 500 yuan (US$73) to 10,000 yuan, as well as possible suspension of their licenses, under Shanghai’s traffic regulations.

Drivers in Shanghai are allotted 12 points on their license every year. Those who lose these points because of traffic violation may have their license suspended, and be ordered to attend a traffic regulation class and pass the license exam again.

Many agents linger near traffic police offices where drivers pay fines for traffic offenses, and one was caught in the Pudong New Area recently.

The agent, a man surnamed Shen, operates a WeChat group in which he connects his clients with those willing to “take orders” for point deductions, police said.

On August 6, the day Shen was caught by the police, he had just made a deal with a client who paid 540 yuan to transfer three deducted points to another driver, according to the police.

The client, a man surnamed Han, was fined 1,000 yuan. Shen is now under detention for allegedly making use of the Internet for criminal purposes.

Meanwhile, in Huangpu District, police have fined eight car repairmen and secondhand auto dealers for transferring customers’ deducted points onto their own licenses. Members of this group were accused of absorbing deductions in traffic offenses involving dozens of different vehicles.

One of the accused is a man surnamed Ji, who allegedly paid fines and loaded deducted points for 48 offenses from 30 cars in the past 12 months.

Meanwhile, Shanghai traffic police published 42 mobile phone numbers which appeared on street advertisements offering such illegal services.

These mobile phone numbers have been blocked, and their owners have been asked to submit themselves for further investigation.


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