December 02, 2003

Guangzhou Launches Unique Citizen-Directed Traffic Enforcement Program

The innovative enforcement program, which tracks drivers based on vehicle license plates, was an initiative created by the head of Guangzhou’s traffic police.

Due to a deluge of photos, the department is now taking steps to tighten the conditions of offering a reward. Digital images are not accepted, and both a print and negative must be submitted.

Anecdotally, the program is already having a strong effect on driver behavior. When ITDP staff tried to snap photos of vehicles parked on walkways (a common problem in the city) drivers often drove away before the photo could be taken.

Given that the traffic police in Guangzhou have authority over traffic management and are the ones who are principally responsible for the overwhelming priority given to cars in the city, this enforcement mechanism is a refreshing (and rare!) step in the right direction.

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