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May 11, 2015

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City police launch road rage campaign

SHANGHAI police say they have launched a crackdown on aggressive and reckless driving habits, having seen an increase in collisions at intersections this year.

This comes after China’s Ministry of Public Security reported last week that 82,000 traffic accidents across the country in 2014 were caused by road rage — up 2.4 percent on a year earlier.

And in the first four months of 2015, figures rose almost 4 percent year-on-year.

The data was not broken down by city.

A Shanghai police official said they are clamping down on selfish and dangerous driving habits, such as cutting up other drivers, ignoring pedestrians crossing the street and running red lights.

Police did not give details of what form the campaign is taking.

City police said failure to yield right of way, ignoring traffic signals and drunk driving account for a quarter of accidents.

“I don’t know why people are always in such a hurry,” said a traffic assistant who has been working on the streets of Shanghai for five years and who recently was almost run over by a bus while on duty.

City motorist Su Peng, a driver with 10 years’ experience, admitted that he has on occasion succumbed to road rage.

“Once at a crossroads,” he said, “a driver cut in front of my line of traffic at the red light. I was so angry that I jumped out of my car and went over and kicked his car door repeatedly.”

Su added that no traffic police came to the scene. “They are too busy to intervene in every traffic altercation,” he said.

There are about 8,000 traffic officers on Shanghai streets.

City authorities declined to discuss any changes in traffic controls to tackle road rage.


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