Déjà Vu Litter
I just got back from a few days out of town and was going through my spam in the vague but unlikely hope that any of my email was not from Slavic women who apparently can’t live without me, and kind medical practitioners offering to supply me medical compounds at a reasonable price to apparently keep those Slavic women slavishly devoted to my prowess.
Amazingly, there was one missive which didn’t involve bodily fluids.
Mr Google decided in his wisdom to alert me to the news that there is to be a “Severe penalty for dropping litter from car to be imposed in South China“, specifically in Liuzhou. They did what they do and linked me to a CCTV news web page.
“Hold on a god-damn minute!” I muttered to myself. I wrote about this two years ago. Then I read the article.
The headline is totally misleading. In fact, all they are doing is increasing the penalties for in-travel disposal of your trash/rubbish/garbage/detritus etc. by lobbing it out the car window.
The fines were initially imposed in late 2015, but with little effect. The usual lack of enforcement and the difficulty of collecting evidence. Now, instead of actually policing the streets (when was the last time you saw a traffic cop outside of the peak rush hour, waving their arms at random while all the traffic ignores them?), they have decided that the way to deal with the problem is to raise the fine from ¥200 to ¥300. That’ll do the trick!
Offenders will be given 15 days to save up and stump up, after which the fine will be increased to ¥500. If still not paid after one month, this will double to ¥1000. After six months the offenders will be locked up and the key thrown away will be placed on a credit blacklist!
Once again, the traffic police show that they are more of a cash generating machine than a law enforcement agency.
According to the article Liuzhou has around 700,000 cars (and around 1 million driving licence holders). Only a handful of people actually know how to drive and they prefer to walk. Even assuming a worst case scenario and every “driver” drops litter (highly likely) , gets caught (highly unlikely) and pays up within 15 days (highly maybe), then that amounts to around 210 million yuan, enough to pay for a banquet or two. That income can then theoretically rise to 700 million. Then, if no one pays, they just give up?