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Shanghai people make cash on scofflaw tips
By Tian Xiuzhen (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-04 00:04

It's time for fed up Shanghai citizens to get even with traffic violators.

What's more, the citizens can make some money in the process.

Under new regulations that take effect this month, members of the public have a financial incentive to report violators to the police.

Tipsters who report an authentic traffic violation case will get 20 yuan (US$2.4) in reward money, according to the Shanghai Traffic and Patrol Police General Brigade.

People can take photos or use video cameras to turn in the scofflaws and will receive the reward money after the case is verified as true and transferred to the police to investigate.

Traffic violations such as driving the wrong way, wrong lane changes, breaking the rules when driving at crossroads and illegal U-turns are typical violations that threaten public safety on the roadways.

"These violations must be rectified but it is really hard for traffic police to catch irresponsible drivers on the spot," said Zhao Xihong, a general brigade spokesman.

Choosing to involve the public is meant to enhance the sense of citizens playing a part in maintaining safe and efficient traffic, rectifying improper traffic practices and fostering a positive atmosphere with people abiding by the law, Zhao added.

To assist in the implementation of the new system, the general brigade requires that the reporting person should present his identity card and valid evidence for the first time to the acceptance centre at the general brigade.

The centre will record the performance of the tipster. Reports delivered by e-mail, post or telephone will be denied by the centre.

The methods also require that the reported cases must fit the category of moving violations as mentioned above. Parking violations do not fall into the category for award.

The reporting persons will be paid every month, but the total reward to one reporting person will not exceed 1,000 yuan (US$120).

"We aim to call on society to pay attention to traffic safety rather than creating a new full-time job," Zhao said.

Guangzhou, capital of South China's Guangdong Province, has ever offered cash rewards to reporting persons. Some people, as a result, just carry a camera and make their living on shooting traffic violators.

Reporting persons whose evidences contributed much to the police in solving traffic cases will get extra reward.

In the past year, the general brigade has accepted reports from the public but only offered souvenirs to those who provided valid evidences.

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