Howard W French has written an interesting piece in the NY Times about the plight of the powerless crossing guards in Shanghai. These poor souls have one of the most thankless jobs I can think of – trying to control the city’s notoriously lawbreaking pedestrians, cyclists and motorbikers – and all for a mere thousand kuai per month. I, for one, am in favor of giving the guards full ticketing power. I’m tired of crossing the road – at the crosswalk, with the light – and having some moped almost run me down. While we’re at it, there needs to be a law that those turning on red need to stop – or at least slow down – before doing so. Generally, the road culture here dictates that bigger and louder has right-of-way, not the other way around. And I’m all in favor of a strict fining system to reverse that line of thinking.