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January 27, 2010

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Boy, 5, among 3 killed by trucks

THREE people, including a five-year-old boy, were killed in two accidents yesterday morning, bringing the city's death toll in construction truck accidents this year to eight.

A woman and her son on an electric bike were hit by a dump truck about 8:50am at the intersection of Gubei Road and Maotai Road in Changning District, police said.

The accident occurred when the truck was turning right from Maotai Road into Gubei Road. The 36-year-old woman was riding along Maotai Road in the same direction, police said.

The woman, and the boy sitting behind her, were knocked down and crushed under the truck's rear wheels.

The driver did not realize what had happened at first and drove on for another 10 meters, a security guard at a nearby hotel said. It was not until an old man yelled to the driver that the truck finally stopped and the bodies were found underneath the vehicle.

About 10 minutes earlier, another woman was killed by a cement truck in the Pudong New Area. The woman and her electric bicycle were hit by a truck without license plates at the intersection of Yanggao Road N. and Donglu Road.

The truck was turning right from Donglu Road to Yanggao Road N. when it hit the bicycle, witnesses said.

An ambulance was called but the woman was pronounced dead at the scene.

The city has been plagued by truck accidents since last year and at least 30 people have been killed since November. Special training for truck drivers was launched at the end of last year along with spot checks on vehicles.

Liu Zhengdong, a deputy to the People's Congress of Changning District, has proposed that drivers breaking traffic laws, such as overloading their trucks or running red lights, be prosecuted as criminals.

Lawmakers and the city's top advisory body members say the city government should hold companies responsible for trucks breaking the law, in addition to the existing punishments for individual drivers.

Zhu Shuying, a political advisor and a lawyer, proposed that vehicles causing accidents be excluded from insurance cover.

"That means vehicle owners will no longer be exempt from paying compensation in traffic accident cases caused by rule-breaking behavior," Zhu said. "Pressure of huge economic compensation could persuade those companies to tighten their safety supervision."


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