China: Jaywalkers made to wear green 'hats of shame'

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A police officer puts a green cap on a pedestrian who is also wearing a green vestImage source, Shenzhen Traffic Police/Weibo
Image caption,
Walk of shame: Green is not a colour most Chinese men would choose for their headwear

Police in one Chinese city have come up with a novel way of tackling jaywalkers - making them wear green hats while helping to direct traffic.

Officers in Shenzhen, in the southern Guangdong province, began the new initiative this month to try to cut the number of pedestrians who dodge traffic on the city's busy roads, the China News Service reports. But they've been facing some resistance to the colour of headgear, because in Chinese culture the expression "wearing a green hat" signifies that a man's wife or girlfriend has cheated on him. The police say the hats are just meant to protect people from the sun, and match the green vests which are also being used.

While many of those caught during one session donned the accessories without too much fuss, around a third preferred to pay a 20 yuan fine ($3; £2), the report says. The force posted pictures of those given the green-hat treatment on its Weibo social media account. One post points out that if a woman had just waited a few minutes to cross the road, she wouldn't have been stuck helping to direct traffic for half an hour.

Police decided to try the new tactic after seeing the number of jaywalking offences rise to 127,000 in the first half of the year, the Southern Metropolis Daily reports. It says statistics show most of those disregarding the crossing signals were under the age of 30, and did so during the city's rush hour.

Image source, Shenzhen Traffic Police/Weibo
Image caption,
Slow down: The police want Shenzhen residents to think "safety first"

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