6/8/2005China: Drivers Angry at Camera Enforcement
China's government-controlled newspaper admits Beijing motorists are increasingly angry at traffic camera enforcement.
China's government-run newspaper admits that drivers are "angry" about traffic enforcement cameras in the capital city. Public complaints about the way the system operates have grown so loud that the government is promising reform. The Beijing government has enthusiastically embraced photo enforcement, placing 816 red light cameras on Shenzhen's 599 roads, for example.
One source of concern is that Beijing does not mail photo tickets to drivers. Instead, it is up to individuals on their own initiative to visit a "traffic management office" in person, check online, or call a toll number that costs 3 yuan (36 US cents) per minute.
This problem caused Du Baoliang, a vegetable dealer in Beijing, to rack up 10,000 yuan (US $1200) in fines without knowing it. Other motorists complain that they unknowingly end up committing the same violation several times because signs are blocked by trees or large trucks.
"Traffic law enforcement departments should inform violators in time so that they can avoid repeatedly breaking the same traffic regulation," Peking University professor Jiang Ming'an told China Daily. "The purpose of penalizing drivers is not just to fine them but also to educate them not to break traffic rules again."