China province tries spraying and publicly shaming jaywalkers to deter them

Jaywalkers risk being sprayed with water from posts if they try to cross too soon in Hubei province in central China.PlayZou Meng
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Crossing the street in China is often a chaotic business.

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It seemingly has nothing to do with whether a light is red or green. Instead, people just crowd onto the curb until they reach critical mass, and then off they go.

The government is trying various approaches to address the problem, including one province's experiment with spraying mist at jaywalkers, according to a report in the official Beijing News.

This method, undertaken by the government in Hubei province in central China, uses knee-high yellow poles installed on the curb at each end of a crosswalk.

When someone tries to cross against a red light, the poles spray mist at the scofflaws. At the same time, a recorded message says: “The light’s red, please do not cross the street; it’s dangerous,” the Beijing News reports.

The system, which reportedly cost the Hubei government the equivalent of $207,000, also uses facial recognition technology. It takes pictures of the jaywalkers and displays the photos, along with the people's names, on huge LED displays on the street in an effort to shame them, the Beijing News says.

The yellow poles are about 2.6 feet high. Staff change the water every day and keep it at a constant temperature of 78 degrees Fahrenheit.