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New cameras to focus on drivers refusing to give way to pedestrians

A white car is caught refusing to give way to pedestrians at the crossing of Gonghexin and Yongxing roads.

SHANGHAI police hope that newly installed cameras could punish drivers who don’t give way to pedestrians at crossroads.

From December 1 last year up till Monday, 381 drivers were caught at the crossroads of Gonghexin and Yongxing roads near Shanghai Railway Station with the latest technology.

Police said more such cameras are being installed elsewhere in the city.

The camera, placed in the middle of a rod parallel to Gonghexin Road with a high-resolution view of the zebra crossings, takes pictures of right-turning cars from Yongxing Road that don’t slow down, or stop when a pedestrian is a meter away and crossing the street at a green light.

“We use three pictures which clearly show the entire offense that can be used as evidence in punishing the drivers,” said Zhang Yingxuan, an official with Shanghai traffic police.

A driver is fined 100 yuan (US$15) of fine and three demerits from his driving license.

Every day the camera catches 20 to 30 offenders but a good number of them are not correct.

“Most false offenses involve traffic assistants at this crossroads, and others are related to drivers who stop on the crossings for pedestrians to pass,” Zhang said.

He explained that drivers passing pedestrians, who stand at the crossings waiting for a green light, won’t be punished because the camera works only when the green light is on.

At this crossroads, pedestrians have 25 seconds to cross Yongxing Road, while drivers on that street have 50 seconds to take the right turn, but a traffic assistant surnamed Zhou said pedestrians are used to giving way to drivers.

In Yangpu District, police said they have painted Chinese characters reading “make way for pedestrians” on the ground in front of the crossings at six spots where there are many residential complexes.

At the crossings on Zhoujiazui Road near Jiangpu Road on Monday afternoon, the characters, painted in white, were hardly discernable, and residents said they were used to taking extra precaution when crossing the busy eight-lane street.

“Most drivers don’t take heed of pedestrians and accidents happen,” a resident said, preferring to stay anonymous. “An overpass or an underpass would be the ideal solution, but it seems that it’s not a priority in road infrastructure construction for us here.”

Last year in the suburban Songjiang District, police started to experiment a camera at a crossroads in Songjiang University Town which takes pictures at every car for the police officers backstage to spot drivers who didn’t give way to pedestrians duly.

Police there told Shanghai Daily that the number of offenses at the crossroads have been dropping probably due to media exposure of the attempt.


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