In Shenzhen, jaywalking is a common sight—almost unavoidable in a city where road safety regulations are haphazard and where there are few safe options for pedestrians.
That changed on Tuesday when police officers patrolling a busy intersection near the Hong Kong-Shenzhen border started giving jaywalkers green hats and a hi-visibility vest to put on.
The Southern Metropolis Daily reported that in the first half of this year, 12.7 million people jaywalked Shenzhen’s busy streets, with the vast majority of them aged between 18-30 years old.
However, the expression “wearing a green hat” is a Chinese slang term used to describe a man being cheated on by a female significant other.
The new road safety measures had a mixed response. Some have welcomed the measures, while others have questioned the choice of colour—with some suggesting the hats should be red as wearing green hats would confuse drivers.
Traffic police on the scene told the Southern Metropolis Daily that the green hats happen to be part of the uniform and that there is no special meaning behind it.