Cyclists and e-bike riders flagrantly flouting the law is one of the bugbears of Shanghai — now they are facing their comeuppance.
Traffic police, who are often too busy to pursue the offenders, have got a camera that can do the job for them.
Located at the crossroads of Zhongshan Road N. and Jinshajiang Road near East China Normal University, the camera has taken pictures at over 30 offenders since the end of last month, police said on Wednesday.Facing a bike lane on which traffic is supposed to move from north to south, the camera snaps bike riders who ride from south to north.
The camera starts to take pictures when detecting a human face moving towards it and sends the evidence to police backstage for verification.
“The face of the offender is matched against identity card pictures in our database, and then the system will return results when at least 90 percent of similarity is found between two faces,” explained Wu Chenwei, an official from the technology department of Shanghai traffic police.
That’s why people who ride motorcycles or who are on foot can also be caught by the camera. While the former also face being punished, the latter are not being targeted, although pedestrians are not supposed to walk in bike lanes.
“This software we developed will keep learning and eventually learn not to take pictures of pedestrians,” Wu said, adding that bike riders who wear a helmet, sunglasses or a mask over their mouths can also be identified.
Among the 30 or so offenders caught on the camera so far, most were on e-bikes and one was riding a motorcycle. An e-bike rider was caught twice.