Have you noticed taxi drivers reminding you to buckle up more often in recent months? If so, it’s likely because they can be fined RMB200 for passengers who aren’t safely fastened.
Back in March, Guangzhou Traffic Police started a new traffic safety initiative to get passengers to buckle up and drivers to put down their soul-sucking smartphones.
In a post by the Guangzhou Traffic Police’s official WeChat, authorities listed nine traffic cameras, referred to by the department as ‘digital police,’ that were recently installed to catch drivers thumbing away on their devices, passengers neglecting their seat belts and pedestrians crossing on red.
Surveillance cameras were installed at intersections on Yuejiang Lu, Huadi Dadao Bei, Tianhe Dong Lu, Huangpu Dadao and Guangzhou Dadao, and plans are in place to further expand the ‘digital police’ force through 2019.
According to a study referenced by Guangzhou Traffic Police, strapping in can increase the probability of surviving a car crash by 60%. Every year nearly 30,000 people die around the world as a result of not wearing a seat belt, adding up to roughly half of all traffic-related deaths.
Guangzhou, following in the footsteps of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, is enforcing this traffic law by handing out RMB200 fines for riders in both the front seat and backseats for not wearing a seat belt. But, unfortunately for Didi and taxi drivers across the city, the person that receives the penalty is the driver, not the seat belt-less passenger.
Drivers who fail to wear their own seat belt will receive a RMB200 ticket and lose two points off his or her license.
According to the Paper, Shenzhen traffic police have been handing out RMB200 fines to drivers carrying passengers who are not wearing a seat belt since May 2018.
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[Cover image via @澎湃新闻/Weibo]