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Traffic-violating Chinese officials shamed with red license plate idea

Chinese officials should drive cars with red license place, citizens and scholars suggest.

Canadian ambassador china car 20120201Enlarge
Chinese internet users were shocked by this post on the Canadian embassy in China's Weibo microblog that shows Ambassador David Mulroney's official car, a silver Camry. (Weibo/Screengrab)

A primary school student in Beijing recently had a wacky idea to install red license plates on the cars of Chinese officials,Caijing reported. The point would be to shame Chinese lawmakers into driving safely--without using their inflated status as an excuse to defy traffic laws. It would also prevent them from driving government cars on personal time. 

Well now, that student's idea is starting to be taken seriously. 

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Chinese scholars agreed that this is a sensible way to curb private use of government cars, which has been the focus of anti-corruption initiatives lately, the South China Morning Post reported

Local governments are trying to stop the abuse but it hasn't been easy. “It’s hard to identify official cars on the street,” Bing Zheng, a professor at Jilin University, told the Post. “It makes supervision and public participation difficult.” He likes the red plates idea. 

The Chinese government imposed a "frugal working style" rule on October 1 that bans government employees from spending public money on fancy cars and other luxury items, Reuters reported

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/china/130222/traffic-violating-chinese-officials-shamed-red-licen