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China to check traffic lights, monitoring devices

(Xinhua)

09:20, October 18, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- China will launch a campaign to examine traffic lights and monitoring equipment before a tougher driver's license regulation takes effect next year, the Ministry of Public Security said Wednesday.

Traffic lights that are not up to standard will be replaced, officials with the traffic management bureau under the ministry said.

The campaign is also aimed at spreading traffic lights and monitoring devices to all crossings and intersections that entail them.

Under the revised regulation, failing to give way to school buses and ignoring traffic lights will result in six penalty points, up from three points in the previous version of the regulation, according to the ministry.

In China, drivers are required to report to the police, attend a seven-day training session and take a written exam if they receive 12 or more penalty points within one year.

The revised regulation, released on Oct. 8, also raises requirements for bus drivers by increasing the required number of training courses.

Drivers of large- and medium-sized buses and trucks will be stripped of their licenses for life if they are found guilty of drinking and driving, according to the regulation.

The provisions regarding school bus drivers took effect upon being issued, while the rest will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2013.

The ministry said it will work on the details of the regulation and improve operational procedures to ensure the smooth implementation of the provisions.

The ministry also urged local traffic management authorities to further regulate police officers' conduct and enhance supervision over them.

Road safety in China has been challenged by increasing numbers of drivers and deaths caused by auto accidents. Official figures show that 62,387 people died in road accidents last year, or a daily average of 170 deaths.
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