New traffic police cameras target drivers who illegally cut lanes
Shanghai traffic police have unveiled a new surveillance camera that catches drivers who illegally cut lanes.
Since October 22, three such cameras had captured 479 lane-cutting offenses by Tuesday, police said on Wednesday.
Drivers are not allowed to cut lanes and move in front of other vehicles — something that happens especially during traffic jams, according to China’s traffic law. Errant drivers are fined 200 yuan (US$30) along with two demerits on their driving licenses.
The three cameras are installed on Xinzha Road near Chengdu Road N., Gonghexin Road near Zhongxing Road, and Gonghexin Road near Guangzhong Road W.
Drivers at the three spots have often complained about lane cutting. Because the left-turn lane is always crowded, some drivers take the straight-going lane beside it instead and cut in the left-turn lane before reaching the crossroads.
“Cutting in often causes traffic accidents, and a minor accident or ‘road rage’ can lead to big congestion behind,” explained Zhang Yingxuan, an officer with the Shanghai traffic police's technology department.
The camera can identify an almost static lane full of cars in its vision, such as a queue formed when a red light is on, and then catch cars from neighboring lanes which cut into the queue, Zhang added.
Such cameras will be gradually introduced on other roads where lane cutting is rampant, police said.
“There is no excuse for cutting in even if you find yourself driving on a wrong lane,” said Shi Shuyuan, an officer with the traffic police's legal office.
However, Shi said that joining a neighboring lane if there is enough space between two cars while not affecting the flow of other vehicles is unlikely to be considered as cutting in.