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Breaking road rules gets more costly

By Wen Ya (Global Times)

08:50, October 10, 2012

Drivers will face more severe punishment for breaking traffic rules, according to modified regulations released by the Ministry of Public Security on Monday following an eight-day holiday that saw almost 800 people die in traffic accidents.

The number of demerit points drivers lose for some infractions have been doubled and 14 new violations relating to buses, passenger vans and trucks will now cost drivers points.

Drivers who lose 12 demerit points automatically loses their license and they must attend courses before regaining the privilege to drive.

The new regulations governing infractions relating to school buses came into effect on Monday, the other regulations will take effect at the beginning of next year.

Drivers who cover or alter their vehicle license plate or drive without one will lose 12 points, double the previous number. Drivers caught running a red light will lose six points instead of three. Drivers who fail to give the right of way to a school bus will lose six points.

Drivers who are not qualified to drive school buses and those who drive while fatigued will lose all their points.

The regulations also strictly limit motorists with bad driving habits from applying for a license to drive a bus and truck. Those who have caused death in an accident or have a record of drunk driving will be deprived of their rights to reapply for a license.

People who have taken drugs or sent to rehabilitation during the past three years cannot apply for a driver's license.

The regulations are welcomed by experts and drivers.

"They raise the cost of traffic rule violations," Li Hongchang, an associate professor with the School of Economics and Management at Beijing Jiaotong University, told the Global Times Tuesday. "The regulation on school buses will help protect the vulnerable group."

Huang Haiting, a car owner in Zhejiang Province, told the Global Times that she hoped the regulations will help promote more courteous driving habits. "With stricter rules, people might drive more safely."

There is an annual increase of 20 million drivers in China. Drivers with less than one year driving experience cause more traffic accidents and large-and-middle-sized bus and truck drivers more frequently break rules, said the notice announcing the revamped regulations.

As of June, there were 233 million vehicles and 247 million drivers in China, according to the ministry.

Last week's holiday witnessed 68,422 traffic accidents killing 794 people in the country. The Ministry of Public Security claims the number of traffic fatalities dropped around 46 percent over the same period of last year.


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