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Number of Road Accidents in China on the Rise

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BEIJING, China (15 May 2000)–According to the head of the US-based National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), China will face a crisis in road accidents if efforts are not made to make highways safer. The number of accidents in China jumped by 20% last year, resulting in 83,529 people dead and 412,860 injured, according to China’s […]

BEIJING, China (15 May 2000)–According to the head of the US-based National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), China will face a crisis in road accidents if efforts are not made to make highways safer. The number of accidents in China jumped by 20% last year, resulting in 83,529 people dead and 412,860 injured, according to China’s state media. But that figure could be as high as 100,000.
“They already have 70,000 to 100,000 deaths a year,” Jim Hall, chairman of the agency in charge of accident investigations and transportation safety, to China’s state media. “In the US, we have one vehicle per person. Even if they get 30 to 40% of that, you can look at the challenges they’re going to be facing. It’s staggering.” As personal income rises, more people will buy vehicles, making the need for road safety measures more urgent, Hall said. There are 14 million vehicles in China, according to official figures obtained by Hall’s staff. The report states that poor road signs and insufficient enforcement of traffic rules are two of the key areas where China needs to improve. Another problem is the lack of public awareness, especially in the area of child safety. (JW)

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