Chinese police take a shine to dazzling traffic offenders
August 7, 2014 -- Updated 0854 GMT (1654 HKT)
Traffic police in China are finding the overzealous use of full-beam headlights to be a problem.
- Blindingly simple idea sees Chinese police using headlights to punish traffic offenders
- Use of high-beam lights punished in Shenzhen with eye-for-an-eye punishment
- China's netizens split on the subject with some complaining of police overreaching their authority
Hong Kong (CNN) -- How's this for a bright idea? Police in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen are responding to headlight infractions with an eye-for-an-eye punishment.
If you're caught using your brights in the city, which shares a border with Hong Kong, police will sit you down in the full glare, not of an interrogation room lamp, but of their own full-beams.
A post on the Shenzhen traffic police's Weibo account spells it out.
"Do you dare to use full-beam headlights anymore?" the post asks. "From now on, 'uncle cop' will have you stare at the lights for five minutes if they catch you abusing them."
Full-beam headlights are evil. I suggest they extend the stare time to 30 minutes
Weibo user @shenzhenlaocui
The stern warning is offset by an animated laughing emoticon. There is also the addition of a more traditional fine of 300 yuan ($49).
Responses on Chinese social media ranged from the amused and the approving, to those doubting the safety -- and legality -- of the biblical-style punishment.
User @chas125 said: "I wholeheartedly support this. Shanghai traffic police should adopt the measure, too," while another user, whose weibo handle suggests a connecttion with the city, was even more enthusiastic.
"I'm hitting 'likes' with my hands and feet," @shenzhenlaocui posted. "Full-beam headlights are evil. I suggest they extend the stare time to 30 minutes, splitting it into three time periods, and let people take a 60-second break in between."
@Zhengxunlaoshi, however, was a little more phlegmatic. "People hate others who use full-beam headlights too much. I experience that unpleasantness as you do, and it is not safe," the user said.
"But the police 'educate' the violators beyond laws -- remember laws don't authorize them to do so -- illegally enforcing the law is more dangerous than using full-beam headlights."
Indiscriminately using brights can be hazardous and can dazzle oncoming traffic. Given the rapid increase of cars and motor scooters on China's roads as the country's economy expands almost unabated, road awareness is an increasing concern.
CNN's Shen Lu in Beijing contributed to this report
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0551 GMT (1351 HKT)
David McKenzie meets some American teenagers who are spending a year in China to be fully immersed in the culture.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0259 GMT (1059 HKT)
The Chinese government pledges to protect a boy with HIV, who was shunned by his entire village in Sichuan, state media reported.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 1144 GMT (1944 HKT)
A Chinese couple allegedly threw hot water on a flight attendant and threatened to blow up the plane.
December 15, 2014 -- Updated 0503 GMT (1303 HKT)
China's 1.3 billion citizens may soon find it much harder to belt out their national anthem at will.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0021 GMT (0821 HKT)
Los Angeles in the last century went through its own smog crisis. The city's mayor says LA's experience delivers valuable lessons for Beijing.
December 6, 2014 -- Updated 0542 GMT (1342 HKT)
At the height of his power, security chief Zhou Yongkang controlled China's police, spy agencies and courts. Now, he's under arrest.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 0826 GMT (1626 HKT)
China says it will end organ transplants from executed prisoners but tradition means that donors are unlikely to make up the shortfall.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 0648 GMT (1448 HKT)
China's skylines could look a lot more uniform in the years to come, if a statement by a top Beijing official is to believed.
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 0855 GMT (1655 HKT)
Despite a high-profile anti-corruption drive, China's position on an international corruption index has deteriorated in the past year.
November 26, 2014 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
A daring cross-border raid by one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's associates has -- so far -- yet to sour Sino-Russian relations.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0051 GMT (0851 HKT)
A 24-hour bookstore in Taipei is a popular hangout for both hipsters and bookworms.
November 25, 2014 -- Updated 0153 GMT (0953 HKT)
China is building an island in the South China Sea that could accommodate an airstrip, according to IHS Jane's Defence Weekly.
November 19, 2014 -- Updated 1057 GMT (1857 HKT)
North Korean refugees and defectors face a daunting journey to reach asylum in South Korea, with gangs of smugglers the only option.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
China and "probably one or two other" countries have the capacity to shut down the nation's power grid and other critical infrastructure.