On January 1st Chinese drivers came to face with the toughest rules to date, those that went through a yellow light were given automatic 6 point deductions from their license and red light jumpers faced the same punishment. The rule was enforced for a couple of days to set an example, some police forces said they wouldn’t immediately fine road users for zipping through the yellows but they would enforce the reds.
The new rules came about to combat Chinese drivers bad habits, drink driving had already been clamped down on quite hard in the past two years but under the new rules, anyone caught drink driving or under the influence of drugs would have their license suspended for a minimum of five years, or if caught using drugs while driving a driver could expect his license to be annulled – permanently. Fines were introduced to encourage drivers and passengers to buckle up and cellphone users could expect to find points deducted from their licenses.
According to media reports from the Qingdao area in the first month of the new rules, red light jumping has dropped by 40% over January 2012′s figures,Â speeding has dropped by 35%, driving without fastening a seatbelt has dropped by an impressive 95%, cellphone use whilst driving has dropped 65%, drink driving has dropped 35%, and hiding license plates or removing them has dropped by 50%.
Although these statistics are limited to the Qingdao area, we can expect that the rest of China is seeing a similar phenomena of improved driving – or as Chinese media like to call it â€œCivilized Drivingâ€