China: Around The Nation

Zebra mascots lead the way in road safety in Chinese city

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 4:38pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 07 March, 2017, 5:01pm

Traffic authorities in a city in northwestern China have hired several zebra mascots to raise public awareness of road safety.

Five traffic inspection volunteers were last Friday sent out on the streets of Lanzhou, Gansu province, dressed in full-body zebra costumes to teach people how to use the zebra crossings in the city, the People’s Daily reported.

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They demonstrated using the crossing only when the lights turn green and performed a traffic safety dance with traffic police officers and children volunteers dressed in police costumes, according to the report.

They were also pictured walking around pedestrian crossings holding signs saying: “Save the zebra crossings”.

This was the Lanzhou government’s latest effort in its traffic reform campaign, which has imposed strict penalties on pedestrians and motorists who violate traffic rules.

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In 2015, the World Health Organisation said at least 200,000 people die from road accidents in mainland China each year.

The official Xinhua news agency also reported that China recorded more than 17 million road-rage incidents that year.

In South America, Boliva reported a 50 per cent drop in traffic fatalities after it started using volunteer zebra mascots to encourage road safety since 2001.