Violators in Shenzhen tagged by high-tech

Updated 2018-05-04 10:13:04 China Daily

Shenzhen is using facial recognition technology to identify traffic violators and levy fines as it builds toward its goal of being a smart city.

Forty sets of surveillance devices, installed mainly at intersections with high traffic volume, officially lit up on Tuesday.

The electronics police will pay special attention to people in certain industries - couriers, for example - as well as people who have had their driver's licenses revoked, according to the city's traffic police.

Four types of violations - running a red light, failing to observe traffic signals, nonmotorized vehicles running on roads and driving without a license - will be closely monitored.

A total of 58 cases related to jaywalking and 67 cases involving nonmotorized vehicles on roads were detected on the first day.

The violators will be notified via text message and fined depending on the severity of the violation.

The move is Shenzhen's latest push to make use of high technology in municipal governance. Earlier, the city had launched programs using facial recognition technology to regulate vehicles.

With the rapid development of facial recognition technology, Shenzhen has achieved a breakthrough in expanding traffic regulation from only vehicles to pedestrians, said Xu Wei, head of Shenzhen's traffic police.

The city plans to expand the surveillance network by adding at least 200 sets of facial recognition devices by the end of this year, he said.

Shenzhen, which is home to a number of technology companies, such as Huawei, Tencent and DJI, has been taking efforts to integrate advanced technology into its traffic system.

In April last year, the traffic police installed a set of surveillance cameras at a key intersection, using facial recognition technology to identify jaywalkers. Photos were compared with those in a police database. The pictures and personal information of the traffic violators were displayed on large LED screens at the intersection.

Most people appear to embrace the move, saying it could reduce irregularities and promote social progress.

"The measure is a constraint to people who have little consciousness of traffic rules. In the long term, fewer people will violate the rules and our society will become better," said Lin Zhiwei, a 56-year-old Shenzhen resident.

Some also raised concerns over the risk to privacy by displaying violators' information on a public screen.

"Displaying photos and information of violators publicly could lead to a problem with privacy. The authorities need to attach high importance to that," another Shenzhen resident said.

Other Chinese cities are also using facial recognition technology. Last month, a suspect was arrested after being detected in a crowd of 60,000 people attending a music concert in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.

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