Attention, jaywalkers: You'll be sprayed with water in central China city

Water-spraying equipment have been set up near a crosswalk in Daye, Hubei province, to stop people from jaywalking. PHOTO: SCREENGRABS FROM MIAOPAI

BEIJING (XINHUA) - Traffic police in a city in central China's Hubei province have set up water-spraying equipment earlier this week near a crosswalk to stop people from jaywalking, China Daily reported on Friday (April 20).

The equipment was set up at an intersection in Daye city's downtown area. It consists of five yellow bollards arranged along the road. The lower three spray water vapour when sensors indicate someone is walking on a red light.

"The machine has two systems with different functions. One is facial recognition; the other provides reminders and warnings," Wan Xinqiang, deputy head of publicity for the Daye public security bureau, was quoted as saying.

The system gives voice prompts about traffic light status. "If it senses someone running a red light, it will spray water vapour and warn pedestrians by voice and laser (beams)," Wan said.

During the first three days of use, fewer people crossed when the red light was on, Wan said. "Although there were still some people occasionally running red lights, the equipment truly has had an obvious effect in preventing that."

Some netizens worried that the system's lasers and sprays would frighten pedestrians and create new dangers.

"To avoid the laser hurting children's eyes, we reduced the height from 1.2 metres to 0.8 metres. And because the spray is just water vapour, it will be safe for children and others," the official said, adding that the water in the sprinklers is clean and will be changed every day.

"If the equipment works well, we will utilise it throughout the city," Wan added.

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