Beijing’s traffic authorities are getting tougher on jaywalkers. From Monday, May 6, a new regulation to increase road safety took effect. There is a fine of RMB 10 for every pedestrian and a RMB 20 fine for every non-motorized vehicle that runs red lights.
If you have lived in Beijing for a while you have noticed that the issue of jaywalkers is pretty serious. The so-called “Chinese-style road crossing,” when people cross the street in a crowd no matter if the light is red or green, is very dangerous both for pedestrian and drivers.
In China there has been a regulation for jaywalkers since 1986
, according to which every pedestrian crossing with the red light could face a RMB 5 fine. In May 2004 another law on traffic came in, pedestrians and cyclists violating the traffic rules could face a fine from RMB 5-50.
But solving the problem of jaywalking is not that easy. To make the new regulation effective this time, the traffic police have put extra staff on the streets during rush hours at 150 major intersections.
The reason behind the problem of jaywalking in Beijing may also be short green lights and the unbalanced ratios of number of cars and pedestrians. Some roads in Beijing are just too wide and cannot be crossed within the time of a green light, giving pedestrians no choice but to run red a light.
For this reason the bureau is also conducting a review of the traffic lights and hopefully the green lights will be made longer in some intersections.
The authorities claim that the number of people crossing with red lights has being decreasing after May 6. Maybe this new regulation will be able to increase safety on the streets, at least for a while, but to offer a lasting solution the number of crossroad should be increased and more importance should be given to pedestrian rather than to cars.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons author Bidgee