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September 15, 2011

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Cutting in blamed for 30% of accidents

RANDOM lane cut-ins, a common bad driving practice, causes about 30 percent of traffic accidents in the city, traffic police said yesterday.

Even though the tactic often produces deadly results, perpetrators face only slight penalties, traffic police said.

The reminder came after a road rage attack in Pudong on Tuesday, in which a cabbie and a bus driver got into a fight after the two accused each other of cutting in. The dispute triggered a three-vehicle collision.

City traffic police said reckless driving "is especially common on the elevated roads."

"It's like jumping the queue," said Wang Denghai, chief of the Zhabei District traffic police team. "No one would like it."

They also said taxis, trucks and buses are the most guilty of cutting in.

Wang said many drivers refuse to leave and argue at the scene after their cars collide due to sudden cut-ins on the elevated roads. This causes severe traffic tie-ups.

Drivers may not like the behavior but they are all used to it and many do it.

"I will cut into other lanes if necessary and I am always being cut off by others," said a car owner, Steve Lu. "I know it's wrong and violates the rules but it's like a custom here."

Drivers usually pass other vehicles and then cut in when they spot a gap, even a narrow one. Accidents happen when other vehicles do not back off, police said. Cut-ins in road intersections are the most dangerous, officers said.

City police said they waged campaigns against such reckless driving but the response was not encouraging. During some crackdowns police suspended violators' licenses.

Traffic police disclosed that during the first quarter of this year, 196 people died and 337 were injured in traffic accidents in the city.




 

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