Po­lice crack down on driv­ing along shoul­der

Cam­paign launched af­ter man dies trapped in car as emer­gency ser­vices try to reach him

China Daily (Canada) - - TOP NEWS - By LU­OWANG­SHU lu­owang­shu@chi­nadaily.com.cn

Traf­fic author­i­ties have tight­ened up the mon­i­tor­ing of driv­ers us­ing the shoul­der on free­ways, hop­ing to ease con­ges­tion as the week­long Na­tional Day hol­i­day comes to an end.

The Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity launched a cam­paign tar­get­ing the is­sue, which is com­mon­place across China, dur­ing the hol­i­day, which led to po­lice deal­ing with 60,000 cases na­tion­wide.

Amongthe vi­o­la­tions, more than 53,000 were for driv­ing on shoul­ders il­le­gally, and more than 7,000 were for park­ing on them, ac­cord­ing to the Traf­fic Man­age­ment Bureau of the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity.

Driv­ers us­ing emer­gency lanes or shoul­ders il­le­gally have six points de­ducted from their li­cense and are fined 200 yuan ($31). Bus driv­ers will lose 12 points, which means they lose their li­cense.

The penal­ties are to re­main the same, but the min­istry wants po­lice to en­force them more rig­or­ously. The cam­paign was launched af­ter a taxi driver died while he was trapped in his ve­hi­cle on Oct 1, the first day of the hol­i­day week.

Emer­gency ser­vices were un­able to reach the driver af­ter an ac­ci­den­tona high­way in East China’s Zhe­jiang province, be­cause the shoul­der was con­gested.

The min­istry has said lo­cal po­lice must en­hance their road pa­trols and in­crease the num­ber of cam­eras mon­i­tor­ing emer­gency lanes.

Ac­cord­ing to a state­ment is­sued by the Traf­fic Man­age­ment Bureau of the Min­istry of Public Se­cu­rity on Tues­day, po­lice must “dis­cover trans­gres­sions promptly and im­pose penal­ties”.

The state­ment also warned that elec­tronic mon­i­tor­ing de­vices are op­er­at­ing round-the-clock to cap­ture vi­o­la­tions and driv­ers will be fined. The min­istry or­dered the po­lice to tar­get con­gested sec­tions of main free­ways.

TheNa­tional Day hol­i­day is one of two week­long hol­i­days in China, and hol­i­day traf­fic is no­to­ri­ously stress­ful.

More than 1.2 mil­lion ve­hi­cles used free­ways to en­ter and leave Bei­jing be­tween mid­night and 4 pm on Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to the Bei­jing Traf­fic Man­age­ment Bureau. The bureau was ex­pect­ing traf­fic to reach a hol­i­day peak dur­ing the day.

Peng Bin, a Bei­jing res­i­dent who drove home from Jiangxi province on Mon­day, aim­ing to avoid “hor­ri­ble traf­fic”, said, “I’d rather short­enmy hol­i­day and spend two days at home than wait till the last day and be stuck on free­ways like a pris­oner.”

Traf­fic po­lice in Shang­hai said home­com­ing traf­fic reached its peak in the city on Tues­day andWed­nes­day.

Ac­cord­ing to the China Tourism Academy, more than 532 mil­lion do­mes­tic trips were ex­pected to be made over the seven-day hol­i­day pe­riod.

Around 10.8 mil­lion rail­way pas­sen­ger trips were made on Mon­day, and the num­ber of trav­el­ers was ex­pected to be higher on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day, ac­cord­ing to the China Rail­way Corp, which sched­uled an ex­tra 315 trains onMon­day to meet the surge in de­mand.

I’d rather shorten my hol­i­day and spend two days at home ... be stuck on free­ways like a pris­oner.”

Xin­hua con­trib­uted to this story.

FU DING / FOR CHINA DAILY

Long lines of ve­hi­cles slow traf­fic at the toll gate of the Bei­jing-Tian­jin-Ma­cao Ex­press­way on Tues­day. Con­ges­tion oc­curred at the site again on Wed­nes­day as hol­i­day trav­el­ers headed home.

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