Three Chinese traffic police reprimanded over dirty car plate crackdown
Three traffic police officers in northern China have received formal warnings after an overzealous crackdown against motorists with dirty or unclear licence plates.
Traffic officers have fined drivers in Shenyang in Liaoning province 200 yuan (US$31) in recent weeks for failing to keep their plates “complete and clear”.
One driver publicly complained on local TV that he was fined because some of the paint was chipped off his plates, but the numbers were still clearly visible.
The city’s traffic authority issued a statement on Thursday saying the three officers were to be disciplined and the driver’s fine withdrawn.
Reports of the crackdown led to long queues forming at a vehicle management office in Shenyang as people tried to buy new plates for 100 yuan, the news website Thepaper.cn reported.
The man whose fine was reversed was quoted by the TV station as asking police: “What’s wrong with my car plate?” A police officer then told him: “You have an obligation to stop the plate from getting dirty.”
An unnamed member of staff at the Shenyang municipal traffic police authority told Thepaper.cn it was not clear how to define if a car plate was “complete and clear”.
He suggested people should buy a new one.