E-police camera surveillance targets contrary riders

Updated 2017-09-21 14:30:53 Global Times

Shanghai traffic cops have nabbed nine naughty traffic violators using facial recognition technology launched in August to surveil cyclists and tricyclists.

E-police traffic surveillance was installed for trial use at the intersection of Zhongshan Beilu and Jinshajiang Lu in Shanghai and identified 30 violations, thepaper.cn reported on Wednesday, citing Shanghai traffic police.

The equipment targets two- and three-wheeler non-motorized vehicles heading in the wrong direction, records it as evidence, then conducts facial recognition via a databank to identify the culprit, the report said.

So far nine out of the 30 violators have accepted punishment on their own initiative. Most were fined 50 (.6) to 200 yuan.

It is the first time that facial recognition has been applied to non-drivers by traffic surveillance equipment in China, Mao Baohua, a professor of traffic systems at Beijing Jiaotong University, told the Global Times on Wednesday.

"E-police is able to serve as a reminder for those non-motor drivers to obey traffic rules, but the whole point of fighting traffic violations is to promote traffic safety awareness among the public," Mao said.

Regulating cyclists is much harder than drivers, he noted.

Accidents have been on the rise involving shared bikes, Guangzhou Daily reported in August.

In the South China city of Shenzhen in Guangdong Province, bike-related accidents increased 79.6 percent this year.

Beijing tried out similar technology recently, the Beijing Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Some 256 E-police units have been installed to monitor trucks, the report said.

Installed on capital city motorways, highways and at fifth and sixth ring road junctions, the equipment recognizes of 10 types of car, 11 colors, 250 car logos and 2,100 car brands, the Beijing Morning Post said.

It is important to balance surveillance with privacy, Mao noted. Previous surveillance cameras only captured vehicle license plate images, not human.

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