When you’re driving in the United States and there’s an oncoming car with its high-beams on, the most you can do is flash your high-beams at it in retaliation. If caught, sometimes the offender gets a ticket. Apparently, in China, more punishment could be involved.
The Shenzhen traffic police uploaded photos to its official Weibo account, depicting high-beam offenders sitting directly in front of a car with its headlights on, reports the BBC. Via a bad Google translate, the post reads, “Tonight remediation indiscriminate high beam, found sitting this ‘green chair’ good experience a minute!”
The BBC cites official media to say that drivers are fined 300 yuan (approximately $44) and then have the option of spending a minute in front of a set of headlights. Chinese news outlet Guangzhou Daily affirms that it is voluntary rather than mandatory. Why anyone would willing subject themselves to this is anyone’s guess.
And it seems like people are on board with this idea! From the story:
On the Weibo microblogging site, many people agree. “Am I the only one who thought a minute was too short?” reads one comment, which garnered 12,000 likes from other users. Another person feels the campaign is “long overdue,” while one berates “selfish, inconsiderate drivers.” A few people are concerned that the punishment could seriously damage eyesight, and one declares: “This is a human rights violation.”
This is the same police department that made jaywalkers pick between paying a fine or wearing a green vest and hat while directing traffic last year.
And this isn’t even the first time the Shenzhen traffic police has utilized this unconventional penalty. In 2014, it appears that the penalty was to stare into headlights for five minutes instead of only one.
Here is a list of traffic laws for the Guangdong Province, where Shenzhen is located. Perhaps unsurprisingly, there doesn’t seem to be anything written about voluntarily staring into headlights.
If you’re curious, no, I don’t think this type of punishment would fly in the U.S.