Pedestrians who ignore red lights at crossings in downtown Shanghai now face being tracked down and fined.
The city traffic police has begun to install smart cameras — the first two of which are already located at the crossroads of Gonghexin Road and Yongxing Road in Jing'an District.
These cameras have caught and identified more than 300 offenders since the end of May, police said yesterday.
Other cameras will soon be put up at the crossroads of Huaihai Road M. and Chengdu Road S., Huaihai Road M. and Xiangyang Road, Nanjing Road W. and Changde Road as well as Guoding Road and Zhengli Road in Yangpu District.
The cameras automatically take pictures and videos of the offenders whose facial features are then matched against their national identity or residence cards or passport pictures from the police database. Police officers will verify the results returned from the picture matching process and then gather three pictures and a video as evidence against an offender.
Notices of the offenses will then be relayed to district traffic police for them to inform offenders who will be asked to pay 20 yuan (US).
Gong Ting, vice head of the Jing'an traffic police, said 26 of the offenders were found to be living in the district and four of them have already paid the fine. "Some people left incorrect or no contact information, so we're not able to inform them of their offenses," he said.
Qi Yue, deputy director of the department of technology at Shanghai traffic police, said the police database covers the entire population in China and foreigners who have entered China with passports, but that does not mean that every offender can be contacted.
Pictures of offenders are displayed on a digital screen next to the bus schedule at the bus station by Gonghexin and Zhongxing roads, which police hope will serve as a reminder to both bus passengers and passers-by not to walk on crossings through red lights.
The pictures, in which the facial features of an offender are clearly shown but no identity information is revealed, are displayed during rush hours.
Police said pictures of those who have paid their fine will be removed from the screen.