Chinese city adopts policy of shaming jaywalkers on social media to stop rampant problem

Jaywalkers are forced to admit to their crime online.

Crossing the street in China can often have nothing to do with whether a light is red or green. Instead, people crowd onto the curb until it reaches critical mass, and off they go -- traffic or no traffic.

In order to solve the jaywalking problem, police in one region of the country of 1.4 billion people have come up with a solution: social media shaming.

Police in the southern city of Guangzhou, China, recently set up a testing site at a traffic intersection near a subway station, the local Guangzhou Daily newspaper reported. Pedestrians who crossed the street without a green light would be stopped and asked to post their misdemeanor on popular Chinese social media platform, WeChat, according to the paper.

Offenders have to write up the details of how they broke the traffic rule, along with a picture, and the hashtag “Start from me to follow the traffic rule," according to Guangzhou Daily.

Police will let the offenders go once they share the post to 10 chat groups, or gather at least 20 likes, Chinese media reported.

Offenders can instead choose to watch a three-minute long educational video in front of an LED TV screen police set up by the side of the street, according to the reports.

“The purpose of this punishment is to educate the public,” policeman Zhangwei told China News Service. “Publishing the posts on social media is done to hope the offenders can pass what they have learned to their friends, and promote more people to follow the traffic rules.”

According to Chinanews, the number of offenders at the traffic intersection have dropped by half in 20 days.