12/05/2012 09:04 am ET

Politeness Police To Be Used By French Train System To Deal With Bad Manners

France's state-owned railway system, SNCF, is looking to deal with passengers' poor manners in a rather unconventional way: by employing politeness police.

The move was prompted by an increase in passenger complaints about others' rude behavior, which increased by a staggering 25 percent this year, reports the Telegraph. Gripes include spitting on and insulting ticket inspectors, putting feet on seats, pulling emergency alarms without reason, speaking loudly on mobile phones, playing music and damaging train interiors.

"We aim to tackle offensive or irritating everyday behavior of people who make life a misery for other passengers," an SNCF spokesman told

France also tried to spruce up Parisian commuter trains back in July by decorating a commuter train to look like the palace of Versailles.

Hundreds of new employees (thousands by the Telegraph's account,) dubbed "conflict specialists," will be brought in to patrol the system's trains, reports Daily Mail.

The agents will be authorized to hand out fines for smoking, putting feet on seats or damaging property. In some cases they will also "engage people in a conversation about simply having respect for their fellow passengers,' according to the paper.

Perhaps the French really are fed up with their own incivility, as the Associated Press posited last summer.