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The Ministry of Public Security will issue a regulation to curb the rampant running of yellow lights by vehicles, the ministry said.
"Running a yellow light is considered a dangerous driving behavior, and it has aroused great concern. The relevant department of the ministry is working on a clearer and more detailed method of law enforcement," a press officer surnamed Zhang, under the ministry, told China Daily on Tuesday.
Vehicles in Leping city, Jiangxi province, wait on Monday to go through an intersection while the yellow light is on. Provided to China Daily
On July 20, 2010, a driver in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province, jumped the yellow light and continued going before the signal light turned from yellow to green. Cameras caught his behavior, and the next day, local police fined him 150 yuan ($24).
But the driver thought the traffic police didn't have any legal basis to punish him, so he brought an administrative lawsuit against the police to a local court in September. The suit failed, and in January, he appealed to the city's intermediate court.
On April 6, the intermediate court rejected the appeal, and upheld the previous verdict that it was illegal to drive through a yellow light. The court said that, when the yellow light is on, only those vehicles whose front is past the stop line can continue moving, and all the others are not allowed to go.
"Therefore, it has been identified as illegal for him to jump a yellow light under the road safety law," the court said in a statement.
The case soon sparked heated debate online, and many car owners made postings to ask: "Is it illegal or not to run a yellow light in the end, and will it be screened by the electronic eye?"
A police officer surnamed Liu in Wuhan traffic bureau, Hubei province, said that a yellow light is a signal of transition, which warns drivers that the signal is about to change.
"At present, many drivers don't wait for the red light and move rapidly to pass when the yellow light is flashing. Vehicles in the opposite direction also want to quickly pass through it, so it can be quite easy to have traffic accidents," he said.
"Meanwhile, many signals are near pedestrian sidewalks, and such behavior will also endanger the safety of those who are crossing the road," he added.
"It's quite dangerous for motor vehicles to jump a yellow light, and if they do so, they should be punished," said Beijing resident Zhang Li.
"Such behavior won't be fundamentally curbed unless law enforcement agencies adopt strict measures to punish the drivers."