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UPDATED: 15:18, May 26, 2004
Accidents down under new rules in Shanghai
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Traffic accidents on downtown streets have dropped considerably since new road traffic rules went into effect on May 1, local police said yesterday.

Police said yesterday that the number of downtown traffic accidents during the first 24 days of the month are down 89 percent year-on-year.

The first national law on road traffic safety included modified traffic regulations and was enacted on May 1 all over the country.

May 25 is the city's road traffic regulation publicity day each year.

More than 100,000 people from city traffic departments, local media and residents took part in various activities to publicize the new traffic regulations yesterday.

The new regulations set stricter punishments on guilty drivers while pedestrians are treated more friendly than before. Drivers should now take full responsibility for any car accident that hurts or kills a pedestrian, including jaywalkers who previously had to share responsibility for the mishap.

Drivers who kill a pedestrian must now pay 20 times the victim's annual cost of living under the new rule. Previously, they had to pay 10 times the average annual cost of living in the area where the killed lived.

A driver who recently ran over and killed a jaywalker in the city's Pudong area had to pay 400,000 yuan (US$48,000) in compensation to the victim's family.

Source: Shanghai Daily

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