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China mulls criminalizing speeding, vehicle overloading

(Xinhua)

13:14, July 28, 2012

BEIJING, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The State Council, China's Cabinet, revealed in a new guideline that serious speeding and driving overloaded vehicles may be considered criminal offenses.

According to a document entitled "Opinions on Strengthening Road Traffic Safety," the Cabinet is to "research and accelerate the procedures for listing serious cases of speeding and driving overloaded vehicles as crimes in the name of harming public safety with dangerous methods."

The document, the full text of which was released Friday, came after a string of fatal road accidents that involved speeding or overloading.

In one of the most serious cases, 20 passengers, including 17 preschoolers, were killed late last year in northwest China's Gansu province when the severely overloaded school bus collided with a truck.

According to the document, measures are also being considered to incorporate citizens' road offense history into their credibility, insurance and employment records.

In addition to rewards for whistleblowers offering road offense tips, the Cabinet has urged the establishment of a network granting government departments and employers access to a blacklist of drivers with serious offenses in a bid to tighten the management of drivers.

Traffic accidents on China's roads result in about 70,000 fatalities and 300,000 injuries each year, according to the Ministry of Public Security. Speeding, fatigue, drunk-driving and poor road conditions are usually to blame.

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