Guang­dong aims at rail­way scofflaws

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - CHINA - By ZHENG CAIXIONG in Guangzhou zheng­caix­iong@ chi­

Fare dodgers and peo­ple caught smok­ing on trains in Guang­dong prov­ince could be banned from trav­el­ing by rail if they break the rules more than twice.

Ticket scalpers and pas­sen­gers who use fake iden­tity cards to board a train will also be black­listed, with of­fend­ers fac­ing fines of 500 to 2,000 yuan ($74 to $296), ac­cord­ing to draft reg­u­la­tions deal­ing with rail­way op­er­a­tions and safety.

The pro­posed new rules, re­leased by the provin­cial Leg­isla­tive Af­fairs Of­fice for public feed­back, do not say how long a ban would last. Smok­ers and fare dodgers would be fined im­me­di­ately when they are caught in the act.

In ad­di­tion, the prov­ince proposes a ban on drones, kites, bal­loons, lanterns and low-alti­tude air­craft within 2 kilo­me­ters of a rail­way track.

Zeng Yong, an ex­ec­u­tive at Guangzhou Rail­way Group, said the draft reg­u­la­tions would help re­duce the num­ber of peo­ple dodg­ing fares and smok­ing on trains. But Chen Tan, dean of Guangzhou Univer­sity’s School of Public Ad­min­is­tra- tion, said a 2,000 yuan fine is not heavy enough.

“In Hong Kong, peo­ple who smoke in a non­smok­ing area are fined the equiv­a­lent of 5,000 yuan — let alone smok­ing on a high-speed train,” he said. “Those who threaten safety should be se­verely pun­ished.”

In­creas­ing the fine is one ef­fec­tive mea­sure to pun­ish of­fend­ers, Chen said, adding that in­tro­duc­ing a credit sys­tem for train pas­sen­gers is also a good way to en­cour­age civ­i­lized be­hav­ior.

Some res­i­dents fa­vor the new reg­u­la­tions. Hu Zhaom­ing, an of­fice worker in Guangzhou, said rail­way op­er­a­tors should in­crease fines to pun­ish smok­ers to en­sure a safe and com­fort­able rail­way trip for oth­ers.

“Smok­ing harms the health of all the pas­sen­gers,” he said.

Max­i­mum fine for smok­ing on a high-speed train in Guang­dong, un­der a pro­posed reg­u­la­tion

Liang Fengxin con­trib­uted to this story.

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