Chinese drivers like jumping red lights according to this report from Xinhua. In my own experience, with at least a decade on Chinese roads, Chinese drivers are jumping red lights because others are busy jumping red lights due to the previous red light jumpers blocking up the interchange area, you follow? This is a common sight at any inner city traffic interchange and comes down to a ‘me first!‘ mentality.
From January 1st next year all red light jumpers will be hit with a 6 point penalty, if you hit the magical 12 points then you can consider your license to drive terminated. Will that be enough to deter drivers, or will it simply up the number of drivers with fake plates and magnetic numbers over their license plates?
In an online survey released on Sunday, 67 percent of 10,682 participants admitted to running red lights.
At the same time, 72.1 percent voted such violations “the worst behavior” on the road, according to the results published on minyi.net.cn.
The survey, jointly undertaken by the traffic management division under the Ministry of Public Security and China Youth Daily, was conducted last week as part of activities ahead of the country’s first national day for road safety, which falls on Sunday.
The timing of the event was chosen partly because Dec. 2 looks like 122, the telephone number for reporting traffic accidents in China.
Some 93.6 percent of respondents acknowledged that traffic lights should be followed, while only 80.1 percent said they fully understand the signals.
Nearly 60 percent of the participants hold a driving license.
As to the reason for such violations, 63.4 percent said they were following what others did and 40.6 percent believed that they would never be punished for their actions.
According to the ministry, running red lights caused 4,227 road accidents in China, involving 798 deaths, in the first 10 months of 2012.
Experts attribute the danger and lack of traffic order to city planners failing to pay the same attention to pedestrians or cyclists as to drivers.
It’s absolutely necessary to set up a road safety day, said Li Keping, professor in traffic engineering at the Shanghai-based Tongji University, who also suggested including road safety courses in the national education system.
As of the end of October, 2012, China has 238 million vehicles and 256 million drivers, according to an earlier report from the ministry.