Planet China

Road test

QR codes are more widely used in China than anywhere else on the planet. In fact, the city of Nanchang has even started using them to deter jaywalking. According to the Beijing Youth Daily, the city’s public security bureau has come up with a scheme that forces guilty pedestrians to scan a QR code provided by a traffic police officer. Their smartphone browser is then directed to a page where they need to answer 10 questions about road safety violations. If they answer all 10 correctly, they will be let off a fine. The test was launched earlier this year and is designed to educate offenders. The Beijing Youth Daily was naturally curious as to how many times this route could be used to circumvent a fine. A police spokesperson told the newspaper that repeat offenders can only take the test – whose questions are regularly changed – a maximum of twice and will then be liable for fines. However, the authorities have also said the test is not mandatory. If a jaywalker is in a rush and doesn’t have the 10 minutes required to complete the test, there is an option just to pay the standard penalty instead.

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