Shenzhen motorists who misuse headlights made to stare into full beam as punishment

PHOTO: Weibo/Shenzhenjiaojing
W.T.M. Why This Matters
We all know how blindly annoying it can be to have full beam headlights dazzle us in the rear view mirrors of our vehicles when we're on the road. But the traffic police in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen has taken the unorthodox measure of making errant motorists stare into full beam headlights for a minute as a form of punishment.

Drivers in Shenzhen who misuse their headlights can expect to be subject to more than just verbal abuse or shown the finger from annoyed road-users.

Traffic police in the southern Chinese city are taking action against such errant motorists by making them stare into full-beam headlights for a minute as a form of punishment, various media outlets reported.

News of the campaign was publicised through a post on the Shenzhen Traffic Police's official Weibo account on Tuesday (Nov 1) calling it an "appropriate experience" that would make offenders "sense the harm" of flashing their lights.

It has amassed over 90,000 likes and shared over 96,000 times since then.

Photos accompanying the post showed what appeared to be drivers sitting on specially-marked green chairs directly facing vehicles with its headlights on.

It is unclear if the optical exposure is optional, but some reports said that violators are also lectured on the proper use of their headlights and fined 300 yuan (S$61), reported Sky News.

A similar campaign made the news in 2014 and it's said that the traffic police decided to restart it again.

This time round, the reaction has been largely positive, reported the BBC, adding that other local police forces also supported the initiative on their social media accounts.

A poll on the Chinese mainstream Sina news portal also found that 90 per cent of people approved.

However some netizens were against the idea.

One Weibo user posted: "Traffic police should follow the law. Please tell me what law or regulation this punishment is based on?"

A blogger called Darkcity2 said: "I live in Shanghai. Of all the absolutely mind-bogglingly inconsiderate *** drivers do on the road here, driving with your high beams on is low on the list."

CCTV reported that 932 drivers in the city were caught at 100 checkpoints set up by traffic police in the two hours from 8pm to 10pm on Tuesday.

sujint@sph.com.sg

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