Capital seeks tighter security on subways in draft regulation

Updated: 2014-02-20 07:43

By Jin Haixing (China Daily USA)

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Beijing is planning to impose compulsory security checks of subway passengers among measures to tighten the safety and better operation of metro lines, according to a new draft regulation.

The draft regulation was posted on the website of the city's legal affairs office on Tuesday, and residents can submit suggestions on it until March 10.

According to the draft, passengers must undergo a security check before taking the trains or they will be refused entry.

In addition, begging and performing for money on the platform or in the trains are forbidden.

Eating on the escalators, passenger conveyors, passageways and carriages are also banned. Smoking, spitting, urinating and defecating in subway trains will not be tolerated.

The companies operating the subway lines must stop such behavior, and passengers face warnings from traffic authorities, and passengers who ignore warnings can be fined from 50 yuan ($8.23) to 500 yuan.

People who pass through the ticket-checking machines illegally face warnings and fines of 50 yuan to 1,000 yuan.

Yue Shenshan, a lawyer and partner in the Beijing Yuecheng Law Firm, said a security check regulation is necessary for public safety.

However, he questioned fining beggars and people who eat on trains.

If someone really needs help and begs in the subway, imposing a fine won't solve their problems, Yue said.

As for eating, Yue said it was more like a question of self-discipline, which requires persuasion, not a penalty.

A 27-year-old female accountant in Beijing surnamed Shi also questioned the regulation's concern with eating.

"Eating doesn't harm public security. For some ill or weak people, eating is a basic need," Shi said.

Sitting in crowds for one or even two hours is not unusual for some passengers, and it is not realistic to bar them from eating, Shi said.

"I don't support eating on subway trains. But, please, don't fine them," Shi said.

Li Weimin, director of the Beijing Weibo Law Firm, agreed and said the fines are too steep.

Subway lines see a large volume of people, so fining passengers is not realistic, Li said.

Law enforcement agencies will have difficulty dealing with the cases as well as implementing the regulation, he said.

(China Daily USA 02/20/2014 page4)