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August 12, 2010

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14 deaths involving trucks in six months

FOURTEEN people have been killed in 27 accidents involving dump trucks in the first six months this year, city traffic authorities said yesterday.

The death toll decreased 6.7 percent from last year while accidents dropped 25 percent, traffic police said. Twenty-two people were injured in the accidents, a 21.4-percent decrease from last year.

Jin Chen, an official with the city's construction and traffic commission, said yesterday that crackdowns have been "effective," but "reckless driving" continues and there are still "unlicensed vehicles" on the streets.

City government launched crackdowns on overloading, speeding and illegal operations after complaints mounted about large vehicles, which were blamed for 25 deaths last year.

Of the 27 accidents in the first half of this year, police gave truck drivers full or major responsibility in 15 cases.

Sixteen of the 27 accidents involved trucks and either moped drivers or cyclists.

Traffic authorities said they would install vocal alarms and better signal lights on the vehicles and strengthen crackdowns on unlicensed trucks.

Zou Hua, deputy director of the city's waste administration, said 2,618 of the nearly 3,000 licensed dump trucks have alarms and additional mirrors installed, or barriers beneath the vehicles.

Tougher penalties now exist for violations. Truck firms, which usually shirk responsibility by claiming the drivers are not their employees, should have operations suspended if its drivers are involved in two fatal accidents in a year.


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