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Tighter rules for work site trucks

SHANGHAI will strengthen monitoring and controls on construction vehicles to improve road safety threatened by a series of fatal accidents involving speed, top city officials said yesterday.

At least five government departments involving construction, traffic and police attended a meeting to take action following mounting calls for joint efforts.

Shanghai Vice Mayor Shen Jun said a tight curb was needed to stop increasing numbers of accidents caused by reckless truck driving in which the death toll was "shocking."

A total of 13 people have been killed in construction vehicle-related accidents since November 17. The latest victim is a cyclist who was hit by a construction truck in Pudong New Area last Friday.

Of the 3,500 construction trucks operating on city streets every day, 1,000 operate illegally, a local newspaper claimed.

Authorities have been asked to take measures during recent campaigns against the speeding vehicles. Police have started checking licenses, speed, loads and vehicle maintenance.

City waste supervisors also will keep a close eye on whether drivers dump their loads along city streets, cutting short their routes to earn more money.

Officials with city construction departments will take action to stop overloaded trucks exiting the city's more than 4,000 construction sites.

Technology will also be employed as authorities plan to put GPS systems on more construction trucks to track trucks' routes and speeds. Drivers' pay will be withheld if they are discovered changing set routes without approval.

In a citywide check on construction vehicles last week, traffic police found worrying levels of reckless driving with nearly 60 percent of trucks overloaded or speeding.

"Some even drove without licenses," said a police officer yesterday.

Concerns over speeding and overloaded trucks have risen as the pace of construction projects increases in preparation for the upcoming World Expo 2010.


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