After already waging war against scooter riders and bike-sharing apps, Shanghai traffic police are on to their next seemingly impossible crusade — trying to get Chinese drivers and passengers to wear their damn seat belts.
A new traffic law went into effect on Saturday in the city, aimed at actually enforcing traffic rules that have been part of national law for years. One of these new rules includes a 50 yuan fine for those not wearing their seat belt. On their first day of enforcement, Shanghai traffic police were able to catch 450 offenders, many of whom weren’t even aware of the rule, Shanghai Daily reports.
In fact, Chinese drivers are well-known for the ridiculous lengths that they go to not wear a seat belt.
Another part of the new traffic law states that children under four must be seated in a safety seat, and police were able to hand out fines to some more violators, even while giving parents the benefit of the doubt — not asking the children’s age, and only issuing fines if they were obviously under four years old.
There’s also a rule against changing two or more lanes at one time. 116 drivers were given 200 yuan fines for violating that rule.
Finally, perhaps most ambitious is a rule against making or receiving calls while driving, or even playing around on the phone. Drivers who are caught face a 200 yuan fine and two demerits on their licenses. In other words, Shanghai traffic police are about to start making some serious bank.
By 3 p.m. on Saturday, police had already registered 20,000 traffic offenses in Shanghai… which somehow is up only 10.6% from last March 25th.
Buckle up and drive safely, everyone.
[Images via Shanghai Daily]
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