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July 28, 2011

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Traffic, fire and construction top safety concerns

TRAFFIC safety, fire hazards and construction are the top problems endangering the city's public safety, according to a city-sanctioned survey of Shanghai residents.

The Shanghai government conducted a month-long campaign in June soliciting public concern about the city's safety threats and received thousands of suggestions. Some 648 letters and more than 1,700 online messages were received in response to the survey.

Officials said they have taken action to solve some problems of top concern, such as moving litter from building corridors and leaving passages for firefighting and rescue.

City legislators also are revising the public sanitation administration law to include a specific punishment against people who open their car windows and throw out litter. In addition to polluting the environment, the practice poses a risk of road accidents. Traffic police say flying litter could pose a danger to vehicles, especially to drivers who are new behind the wheel.

Locals also said they need more education and training on how to deal with emergencies such as fires.

Meanwhile, locals' driving manners and poor traffic order are the top concern among expats, according to a survey by Shanghai Daily. About 71 percent of expats said that bad driving habits combined with jaywalking is the biggest threat to public security in Shanghai.

"We all have been nearly run over by the driver turning without care at an intersection, even through they have a red light," Michael Lucas wrote recently to Shanghai Daily.

Lucas said the traffic rules need to be rewritten "to make a driver turning a corner on a red light stop behind the line before entering the intersection, as well as having to give way to any traffic (pedestrian or vehicular) already traveling through the intersection."


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