July 21 (UPI) — Drivers in a southeastern Chinese city may be thinking twice about running a red light, after a report on a special type of punishment for traffic signal violators went viral on social media.
ChinaNews.com reported Friday the public security bureau of Ji’an, Jiangxi Province, began in July to require drivers who ignore red lights to chant “I will not violate again” 100 times before they are released.
Public security officials confirmed the measure has been in effect since early July.
The story has prompted uproar on Weibo, the Chinese social networking platform similar to Twitter.
Drivers caught by police for stoplight violations must step out of their cars and stand on the side of the road while shouting the required line in public, according to the report.
Chinese users of social media in Ji’an have supplied evidence the measures are being enforced, with photos of violators holding megaphones at street intersections.
Some online commenters applauded the move, saying, “This form of punishment is more effective than simply punishing or imposing penalty points.”
Others are not so sure.
“Penalizing offenders this way is a violation of dignity,” one comment read.
Public security officials in the city say the penalty is a form of “experiential education” and confirmed the measure has been in effect since early July.
“The main purpose is to make the violators aware and inform the people around them to obey the signals. There is an experiential education effect,” one official in Ji’an said.
Ji’an’s public security bureau says the shouting of slogans is one of two options, and that the driver could pay a fine of about $7 instead, according to the report.