Archive for the Traffic Category

Wuhan citizens awarded 5 million yuan for taping traffic violators [People’s Daily]

Posted in Auto, China, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Traffic on March 7, 2011 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Please, start this program in my city in China and let foreigners do it!  I will be most dedicated! – Zuo Shou 左手

A videographer is taping traffic violators on an overpass.
Last year, Wuhan government began rewarding citizens for recording traffic violations on tape, and hundreds of people received around 5 million yuan in total from the local government under the program.

Citizens who tape traffic violations are usually called "unofficial traffic police," and they play a very important role in the management of traffic order.  Although some cities, including Shanghai and Guangzhou, have cancelled such a reward policy, Wuhan is determined to continue.

An official from Wuhan’s traffic administration said the city insists on adopting such a method to limit traffic accidents by encouraging citizens to tape illegal behavior on the road.

15 cases of traffic violations within 10 minutes

On Feb. 26, one citizen took his camera with him to an overpass in Wuhan and started shooting traffic violations occurring under his feet.  In the span of 10 minutes, he recorded 15 violations in all.

The 28-year-old man, surnamed Zhang, works freelance.  He says he is doing this not only to make money but also out of resentment toward those illegal drivers.  One of his good friends fell victim to a car that ran a red light. Continue reading


China govt. policies foster car buying surge — People’s Daily Online column

Posted in Auto, Traffic on May 3, 2010 by Zuo Shou / 左手

Excerpt: “…[In mid-April], China’s National Energy Commission, headed by Premier Wen Jiabao, publicized the country’s lofty energy plan that by 2020 non-fossil fuels will have to account for [no more than?] 15 percent of its gross energy consumption, and the meeting made it a binding target to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by at least 40 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.  By all accounts, the policy ought to be applauded.

However, the goal is not going to be aided, but offset, by the government’s industrial policies to inspire growth.  In early 2009 to help cushion the economy against the world global recession…, the State Council, also led by Premier Wen, cut drastically the rate of vehicle purchase taxes in China [and provided subsidies for rural consumers in a] desperate effort to boost consumption.  As a result, the country was ushered into an explosive time of car rush [sic].

Though the numbers have occasionally buoyed the policymakers, with double-digit GDP growth rates and the country overtaking the United States as world’s largest car consumer, accompanying the rosy figures are dreadful facts:  gridlocked city roads, rapidly rising oil imports and dirtier air that we have to inhale every second.

To make things even more intimidating, now is, perhaps, just the beginning of China’s all-out dash for astonishingly high car ownership, if the United States is deemed the model where nine out of 10 residents own a vehicle…”

Link to PDO regular columnist Li Hong’s full article

In the megacity where I live, the soaring number of vehicles on the roads over the past year is agonizingly obvious as traffic becomes worse and worse.  The article says that in Beijing bicycle paths are being converted to roads; here drivers  —  including public buses  —  are just increasingly appropriating bicycle paths and sidewalks in congested spots as an express lane.  I don’t think most Western people can conceive of how ill-suited China’s densely-packed metropolises are to an explosion of private car ownership and increased traffic.

US car companies, amongst others, are finding a bonanza in the constantly growing appetite of the Chinese consumer for autos; GM now sells more cars in China than in the US [per “GM’s China Sales Exceed U.S. for Third Straight Month“, Bloomberg Business Week].