Planet China

Very civilised

There can’t be many places in the world that have a Civilisation Office, but the city of Shijiazhuang boasts one. The capital of Hebei province intends to improve its citizens’ standards of behaviour. According to the Yanzhao Metropolis Daily, the Civilisation Office has been sending staff to busy intersections, and identifying pedestrians and cyclists who stop when the light turns red. Staff then run over and award a cash prize of Rmb500. Hao Zhaoyun was the first to get the cash and told the newspaper she was excited, but had never thought she could be paid for doing something as trivial as obeying a red light. The Civilisation Office has spent Rmb100,000 on rewards so far, hoping the example will spur citizens to obey traffic codes.


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