The first cameras to catch drivers driving with their lights illegally on high beam have been installed on Shanghai streets.
The initial batch, on Baolin Road near Mudanjiang Road, have caught 67 offenders since mid-September, police said yesterday.
The cameras are specially designed to detect if headlights have more than one bulb or if lights are too strong or cover an unusually large area. Xia Liang, a police officer from the technology department of the traffic police, said the software snap all three measures because cars have different beam systems.
"In some cases, beams come from light bulbs, while others use LED lights — which makes it impossible for us to count the light bulbs," he said.
"In the case of LED lights, the latter two measures are applied."
The cameras automatically record car plate numbers.
The first offense caught by the new system was on September 19 and the driver was fined 100 yuan () and one point was deducted from his license. Drivers cannot use high beam on streets with no dividers if an oncoming car is within 150 meters.
"In going over the results returned from the camera, we will check the beam standards of the car models because indeed some cars have very bright dipped lights," Xia said.
The camera will be gradually introduced to other areas. Previously, police in Yangpu District made drivers who illegally used high beams look into their high beam as a way to educate them about the dangers.
Xia said Baolin Road was chosen for the first camera because several accidents resulting from drivers using high beam had occurred there in recent years.
"A driver who is flashed by a high beam might lose sight for two seconds, and many accidents take place in that time," he suggested.