Jaywalking has turned from a cultural problem to an epidemic in China, so much so that the practice has taken up a notorious nickname “Chinese-style street crossing.” People are seen jumping onto the roads in complete disregard to the law and pose grave traffic hazards along with causing massive traffic jams in case of an accident.
Chinese officials have been trying to crack down on the practice, with several means employed to discourage the practice. This included public shaming of the offenders by making them wear green caps, drawing red lines on the pavement to instigate them on thinking twice before jaywalking and placing mannequins depicting injured people and white crosses on roads to deter the practice. Nothing has worked until now!
In a truly desperate attempt, officials in Wuhan, China’s Hubei province have now decided to install expensive automated pedestrian gates, like the ones at subway stations, along with every pedestrian crossing. Already many of these gates have been installed on either side of the pedestrian crossing, and this will be expanded all around the city if proved to be effective.
The gates open only when the pedestrian traffic light turns green, and clamp down as the red light comes on. It remains to be seen that what exactly will keep the obstinate and unruly people from going around the gates or simply jumping over them. Chinese officials have said that surveillance cameras above the gates will take a picture of such offenders and publicly shame them by displaying their picture on digital billboards in the vicinity, but that means even greater costs and seems highly impracticable and ineffective.
There are some commuters who already think this will be one expensive fail. One person even said, ”
Someone might take away the turnstile and sell it for scrap metal.”
It seems as the jaywalking curse is here to stay for the Chinese!