If you jaywalk in a district of Wuhan, you had better have time to spare.
A new policy means those caught crossing the road without a green light must stay at the scene acting as a traffic warden until they catch the next transgressor.
In just one week the punishment in the district of Hanyang – dubbed a “civilised relay” by the authorities because jaywalkers must pass on a virtual baton before they are allowed to leave – has cut the number of jaywalkers by 50 per cent, according to local newspaper Changjiang Daily.
Jaywalking, blamed for worsening traffic congestion, started to be outlawed on the mainland in 2004.
Penalties vary from between 10 yuan (HK$12.5) to 100 yuan but pedestrians in cities across the country continue to cross the road illegally – largely owing to a lack of traffic safety awareness, poor implementation of traffic laws, and in some cases, poor traffic infrastructure.
A reporter from the Changjiang Daily, who observed a traffic junction in Hanyang for 15 minutes during which the traffic light changed about 20 times, saw nine people caught for walking during a red light.
One man, who was caught jaywalking a few days ago, said that he was on jaywalking duty for nearly 10 minutes before he caught another pedestrian.