Chili trip

Chinese police officials are spicing things up to keep motorists awake while driving.

Traffic officers at service stations in the Chongging province of China hand out raw chili peppers to sleepy motorists and watch them feed on it to be sure they are doing their part to keep the roads safe.

A total of 1.5 kilos of raw chili was distributed in nine days, the Chongging Evening News reported.

The Chinese police were reportedly inspired by two sleepy drivers from Hunan who were pulled over by traffic officers. The drivers asked for peppers to keep them awake.

Police officials believe people get tired and fall asleep easier as weather changes in the spring - leading to more road accidents.

Chili-averse motorists may be offered cold water, menthol balm and even places to sleep. Still, police officials said the peppers were working well - not to mention they are cheap and easy to get.

Chinese reports said there were 265,000 recorded road accidents in 2007 where 300,000 were injured and 73,500 were killed.

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