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Road Traffic Safety Law of the People's Republic of China

From Academic Kids

The Road Traffic Safety Law of the People's Republic of China (中华人民共和国道路交通安全法) is a law which was passed by the National People's Congress of the People's Republic of China on October 28, 2003, promulgated by Decree No. 8 of the President of the PRC Hu Jintao, and took effect on May 1, 2004 on all parts of mainland China (but not in Hong Kong and Macao which have their own judicial systems.) It is the People's Republic of China's first-ever law on road traffic safety, and was intended to address an alarmingly high traffic fatality rate, which is four or five times greater than other nations.

The new law has a number of focus points:

  • Under the new law, when accidents occur between pedestrians or non-motorised vehicles and motor vehicles, except for the case where the pedestrian or the non-motorised vehicle deliberately and intentionally initiated the accident, the motor vehicle's side must always bear responsibility. Responsibility for the motorised side, though, is reduced if the pedestrian or non-motorised side violated traffic laws.
  • The new law enforces a vehicle insurance system. Insurance on motor vehicles is now compulsory instead of voluntary.
  • It abolished a previous regulation which banned holders of driver's licences of the PRC driving rights on expressways until one year after they had held the licence.
  • Even harsher penalties were in place for drunk driving and driving by people who did not hold a valid driver's licence, or drove a vehicle without licence plates.
  • For "hit-and-run" accidents, if the offender did not stop and deal with the situation, but chose to run away instead, he or she will lose his or her driver's licence -- for life.
  • Penalties are now higher, from the former Renminbi 200 up to Renminbi 2000. Also, provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions can only enact specific penalties within the given range. Previously, the nationwide maximum penalty was Renminbi 200, but areas like Beijing and Kunming created their own bills, with penalties in the thousands of Renminbi.

Beijing's own "implementation procedures" of the new traffic law was passed on October 22, 2004, after being the target of heavy controversy over the responsibilities of vehicle drivers and pedestrians, and a regulation limiting the lanes that can be used by novice drivers. These take effect on January 1, 2005.

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