Jaywalkers in Nanjing face social credit downgrade

China Plus Published: 2019-07-05 20:38:24
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Pedestrians captured on video jaywalking in Nanjing more than five times in one year will face harsh new punishments, including a downgrade to their social credit score, according to new legislation that will come into effect on Monday.

The image of a jaywalker is displayed on a giant screen next to a road in Nanjing. [Photo: IC]

The image of a jaywalker is displayed on a giant screen next to a road in Nanjing. [Photo: IC]

The social credit score downgrade can affect many aspects of someone's daily life, including assessments of their job applications, access to personal loans, and vehicle insurance costs.

According to the city's traffic police, a facial recognition system, which is in place at multiple busy intersections in the city, will be used to identify jaywalkers. After being caught by the system, the image of the pedestrian will be matched with databases of drivers and demographic information in a bid to identify the offender. Even individuals wearing helmets, sunglasses, and some masks can be accurately recognized.

Once they have been identified, some details about the offender will be displayed on a screen beside the road. They will also receive a text message from traffic authorities urging them to follow the road rules.

An ongoing survey conducted by People's Daily on social media has found that more than two-thirds of netizens who responded thought this system should be rolled out nationwide. The remainder oppose the new system, with some suggesting that it's an abuse of the social credit system.

In several other major cities in China, traffic law violations can also affect a person's social credit score. Transport authorities in Beijing, for example, connected the online parking fee payment system to the city's transportation management system in May, enabling authorities to send reminders to drivers who park their vehicles but don't pay the fee. They are also looking at making outstanding parking fees an offense that can impact a person's social credit score.

China's transport ministry, together with 10 other ministries, issued a guideline in August 2017 to regulate the problem of share bike parking. The guideline suggests that disorderly parking of a share bike should impact the rider's social credit score.

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