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Road-rules crackdown leads to fewer accidents

THERE were 52,661 road accidents in China in the first quarter of this year, a drop of 16.4 percent year on year, according to the Ministry of Public Security.

A total of 15,464 people were killed and 63,101 were injured in the accidents, down 4.3 percent and 14.1 percent respectively year on year, the ministry said on its Website.

The ministry said the decrease was a result of the country's increased efforts to curb traffic violations, including speeding, drowsy driving, drink driving and overloading.

During traffic peak periods, many drivers and bus companies overload buses to make more money.

And passengers who were eager to travel were willing to squeeze onto already full buses, even when there was no comfortable standing room.

The ministry said a nationwide campaign targeting serious traffic violations from February 20 to March 31 had significantly reduced road accidents and fatalities.


But there was an increase in the number of serious accidents involving buses on highways, each of which killed more than 10 people, the ministry said.

Six of the accidents involved buses breaking road rules. "Four of the accidents happened on highways," the ministry said, adding that initial investigations suggested all four were caused by speeding.

On March 27 two accidents in eastern China left 38 people dead and 18 injured.

In the wake of the accidents, the ministry ordered public security and traffic departments to enhance inspection of road rules, with the focus on speeding of buses.

It also urged authorities to increase patrol on highways and improve road conditions, including an overhaul of road signs.

Efforts should also be made to improve passengers' awareness of using seatbelt, the ministry said.


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