Yesterday Shenzhen police introduced an innovative new tool to help combat the scourge of jaywalking. Green hats.
The plan involves
shaming humiliating educating reckless jaywalkers by requiring them to don green hats and vests to serve as instructors at busy intersections, preaching against “Chinese-style street crossing.” Police report that they dealt with some 11,000 lawbreakers yesterday, mostly during peak hours, according to Guangdong News.
Of course, in China “wearing a green hat” is a derogatory expression that goes back to the Yuan dynasty to denote a man whose wife has cheated on him. Not surprisingly, some offenders caught red handed vehemently refused to put on a dreaded green-colored cap. After some arguing, police let one man off the hook with just a 20 yuan fine
Shenzhen police say that the hats just happen to be green to match the green vests. It seems that the cultural implication simply hadn’t occurred to them.
On Tencent, netizens seem to support the experimental new policy with many arguing for still tougher punishments for jaywalkers.
“What color of hat people are made to wear is secondary. The main issue is that the 20 yuan fine is much too small. I recommend that the fine should be at least 200 yuan or two weeks in jail. We have to increase the quality of our people,” one netizen wrote.
In the past, other cities in China have tried out comparably aggressive tactics to discourage jaywalkers. Last year, in Shijiazhuang, illegal streetcrossers were shown publicly on a big screen. Two years ago, Zhejiang province cracked down on jaywalkers with harsher penalties.
However, we believe that the most straightforward and effective method to curb jaywalking permanently would be to simply employ more crazy, hammer-wielding traffic assistants. Problem solved.
by Alex Linder
[Images via China Youth Daily]