More must be done to im­prove road safety

China Daily (Latin America Weekly) - - 11 Comment Editorial • Opinion -

A HEAVY-DUTY TRUCK car­ry­ing a dis­man­tled tower crane crashed into a line of 31 au­to­mo­biles at a toll sta­tion on the Lanzhou-Haikou ex­press­way in the sub­urb of Lanzhou, North­west China’s Gansu prov­ince, on Satur­day evening. By Sun­day morn­ing, 15 peo­ple were con­firmed dead and 44 in­jured, among whom 10 are se­verely wounded. China Daily re­porter Li Yang com­ments:

The po­lice said the cause of the ac­ci­dent was the fail­ure of the truck’s brakes af­ter suc­ces­sive down­hill slopes, and the driver, who was us­ing the road for the first time, pan­icked and failed to no­tice the run­away truck lane.

That the wreck­age spread over 100 me­ters or so speaks vol­umes about the mag­ni­tude of de­struc­tion, which could have been avoided if the driver had re­mained calm enough to steer the truck onto the run­away truck lane.

The day be­fore this tragedy, seven peo­ple lost their lives in a traf­fic ac­ci­dent caused by an outof-con­trol heavy-duty truck cross­ing into the op­po­site lane and hit­ting on­com­ing traf­fic in Yingjing county, Sichuan prov­ince.

A re­port on traf­fic ac­ci­dents jointly is­sued by

the safety pro­duc­tion and trans­porta­tion au­thor­i­ties at the end of last year states that traf­fic ac­ci­dents claim 60,000 to 70,000 lives in the coun­try an­nu­ally, with speed­ing, driver fa­tigue and brake fail­ure be­cause of over­load­ing as the three com­mon­est causes, par­tic­u­larly those in­volv­ing long-dis­tance trucks and buses.

The num­ber of ve­hi­cles on China’s roads con­tin­ues to grow rapidly, the pub­lic se­cu­rity, safety pro­duc­tion and trans­porta­tion de­part­ments must work to­gether to strengthen the train­ing and reg­u­la­tion of the driv­ers, and im­pose pun­ish­ments to de­ter speed­ing and over­load­ing. There also needs to be more spend­ing on trans­porta­tion in­fra­struc­ture fa­cil­i­ties such as safety bar­ri­ers.

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