Chinese city’s idea to deter jaywalkers – spray them with water

Scheme undergoing trial in Daye in Hubei province, newspaper reports

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 April, 2018, 12:04pm
UPDATED : Monday, 30 April, 2018, 6:02pm

A city in central China is testing a scheme to spray jaywalkers with water if they try to cross the road on a red light, according to a newspaper report.

The system in Daye in Hubei province is also fitted with facial recognition technology so offenders can be identified and publicly named and shamed, The Beijing News reported.

Short bollards have been set up at a pedestrian crossing with sensors fitted, which detect if somebody crosses the road before the light turns green.

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Offenders are sprayed with water and a recorded message sounds saying, “please do not cross the street, crossing is dangerous”, according to the article.

The city government has spent 1.3 million yuan (US$207,000) on developing the system and plans to install the bollards at major intersections across the city.

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“The internal temperature of the bollards is set at 26 degrees Celsius and workers will fill them up with clean water every day so there is no need to worry about pollution or catching a cold,” an unidentified police officer was quoted as saying. 

Pictures taken of offenders will be shown on large screens in public areas.

The idea received a mixed reaction on social media in China.

“It will be great for washing your feet in summer,” one internet user joked.

Others were more critical. “This is such a waste of water, electricity and public money,” said another person on Weibo, China’s equivalent of Twitter. 

Another person warned: “What if elderly people were scared by the bollards and fall to the ground?”

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Traffic police in the southern city of Shenzhen are developing a system with an artificial intelligence firm that recognises jaywalkers through facial recognition technology and sends text messages to offenders.

Railway police in Zhengzhou in Henan province also used glasses with facial recognition software to spot fugitives during the Lunar New Year holiday travel rush in February.