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Jaywalkers a leading cause of fatal crashes
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10:47, August 22, 2007

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GUANGZHOU: People walking along the expressway have become a major cause of fatal traffic accidents in this southern city, according to local traffic police.

"A third of the fatal traffic accidents that have happened this year were the result of such unsafe behavior," Zeng Zhaozhi, deputy director of the Guangzhou traffic police authority, said.

Zeng said many rubbish collectors slip through the expressway entry gates at night when there are few traffic police on duty.

"Walking along the expressway or crossing it is really dangerous, as the traffic tends to be driving very fast. If a car runs into a person on the expressway, the vehicles driving behind it could end up colliding with it," Zeng said.

Zeng said it would be difficult to completely prevent people from entering the expressway.

"Sometimes they also engage in vandalism while entering the expressway. And they are not afraid of being punished once they are caught," Zeng said.

Road safety regulations stipulate that people caught walking along or crossing the expressway could be subject to a fine.

"But actually they do not have any money. So all we can do now is get them to move off the road," Zeng said.

In a bid to limit the numbers of such people entering the expressway, Zeng said the local traffic authority had set up a special assessment system to reward traffic police who catch offenders.

"We have been encouraging traffic police to watch out for these people to deter them from entering the road," Zeng said.

He also said expressway safety regulations should be updated to make it easier to assign responsibility when a fatal accident occurs.

"People will be more aware of how dangerous walking along the expressway is if the regulation stipulates clearly that they would bear full responsibility for a fatal accident," Zeng said.

Local traffic police also launched an expressway safety promotion campaign last month.

"The campaign not only targets drivers, but also ordinary people. The goal is to provide more knowledge of expressway safety," Zeng said.

Some 330,000 educational brochures have been posted at the entry and exit gates of expressways in the city.

"We will also organize educational activities in villages along the expressway to teach local people how to obey the road safety law," Zeng said.

Source: China Daily

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