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Delivery riders in Shanghai will wear numbers to track behavior

Updated: Apr 03, 2019 China Daily Print

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Food couriers gather to advocate better traffic safety in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, in November. [Lian Guoqing/For China Daily]

Takeout and express delivery riders in Shanghai's Pudong New Area must wear reflective numbered uniform vests in their work, under a new rule from the local public security authorities.

The numbers on the vests are joined with each rider's identification number. If a rider is involved in a traffic incident, the code on the vest can be caught and recorded immediately in an app by the electronic monitoring and control system on the road, the police said last week.

"The vests put the riders under public and police supervision and strengthen riders' self-discipline," said Zhu Rongxue of the traffic division of Shanghai's Pudong New Area branch of the Public Security Bureau.

The rule also requires riders to deal with recorded incidents within 48 hours after receiving a message from the police department regarding a traffic violation. After accumulating more than three overdue cases, a rider will be blacklisted in the industry.

The traffic app for the food and express delivery industry was launched by the police in Pudong New Area in September 2017. Information on more than 18,000 riders in the area, including personal information and traffic violations, are contained in the app.

A scoring system is also included. Any failure to obey traffic rules will be recorded through a point system, and the riders will face punishments depending on number of points.

If 12 points are accumulated within three months, a rider must study traffic rules online and pass tests through the app. If 24 points accumulate, a rider must stop delivering orders and serve as a volunteer traffic warden on the street for at least one hour before returning to work. With more than 36 points, a rider will be suspended from work and be blacklisted in the delivery industry.

The boom in delivery services has led to a sharp rise in traffic accidents in China, largely because the couriers break traffic rules to avoid late-delivery fines, and they rush for orders to earn more money.

In Pudong New Area, four serious accidents last year involved the takeout and express industry. Three of the riders in those incidents left the scene and were later detained by the police.

Riders' unfamiliarity with traffic laws and poor management by delivery companies are two of the main causes of accidents, the Pudong police said last month at a meeting with leaders of some takeout and express companies.

"Some riders ignore traffic rules, break the speed limit, go the wrong way on roads, drive their electric vehicles on sidewalks and lanes reserved for cars, or even make phone calls while riding, risking their lives and endangering others," Chen Suping, a representative of the Shanghai Municipal People's Congress, said during Shanghai's annual legislative session in January, Thepaper.cn reported.

To enhance riders' safety, Chen drafted a proposal to extend delivery times and to link the behavior of riders to the business credit records of the companies they work for.

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