Driver Gets Ticket for Scratching His Face

Driver scratching his face gets ticket for distracted driving 7 photos
Photo: Sina Weibo
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Distracted driving is no joke, so police everywhere don’t look kindly on drivers who use their cellphones while at the wheel. As it happens, this poor dude didn’t do that, even though he got a ticket for it.
A driver surnamed Liu, from Jinan, eastern Shandong province, China, received a notice at home informing him that he’d been busted talking on his cellphone while driving his Peugeot, the BBC reports. Attached was also a photo of him in the act.

The only trouble was that, as you can see in the photo above, Liu was only scratching his face – or using an invisible cellphone, as commenters on Chinese social media have suggested once his story went viral, which, by the way, isn’t illegal.

“He was told that he would receive two points on his license and was also ordered to pay a 50 yuan (£5.70; $7.25) fine,” the BBC notes.

Because he knew he was innocent, Liu contacted the authorities by phone but couldn’t get an answer, so he did what every frustrated human being does these days: he went on social media to vent and shame whoever looked at that photo and decided he was breaking the law.

“I often see people online exposed for driving and touching [others'] legs,” he wrote on Sina Weibo, according to the same media outlet, “but this morning, for touching my face, I was also snapped 'breaking the rules'!”

When his story got picked up by local media, he finally got his answer: the city’s traffic authority canceled his ticket, saying that “the traffic surveillance system automatically identifies a driver's motion and then takes a photo.” In other words, blame it on the AI.

The BBC notes that, as of now, China has over 170 million surveillance cameras, with plans to install another 400 million by 2020. Liu’s story has reopened the debate on privacy on Chinese ground and whether it exists anymore or is entirely a matter of the past.
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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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