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Public hearing over traffic laws given green light
By Liu Chang (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-08-26 01:50

A public hearing over two widely-contested items inroad traffic safety law will be held by the Beijing Municipal People's Congress (BMPC) on Friday.

The move will be the first ever legislative hearing organized by the BMPC -- the local legislative body.

The first item that has seen most opposition is that motor vehicle drivers should shoulder full compensation responsibilities in traffic accidents with pedestrians or non motor-driven vehicles. This should happen even if the automobile driver is not responsible for the accident and the two parties fail to report to police, or do not protect the site scene.

But many auto drivers believe the regulation is unfair and will encourage more pedestrians to disobey traffic safety laws.

But some residents say it will help protect the lives of people of low income and low social status.

Another item, which forbids electrical bicycle and mobile wheelchair drivers to carry people and only pre-school children could be carried on bicycles, is also to be hotly contested.

Some disabled people and parents of primary school students are against the move.

A total of 332 applications for the public hearing have been received by the BMPC Standing Committee through e-mail and letters, sources said.

Applicants are from all walks of life, including company managers, workers, government staff, lawyers, teachers, taxi drivers, medical staff, students and returned overseas students.

Motor drivers and non-drivers are among them.

Some are closely related with the legislative items being heard, including people involved in traffic accidents, disabled people and parents of students.

Beijing permanent residents, people living in Beijing from outside the city without permanent residence and residents living in other regions are among the applicants.

Name lists of the participants will not be fixed until the end of this month, said legal sources.

Drafts to the law were released to the public earlier this month, inviting their opinion.

Nearly 9,000 correspondents were received by local legislators.

The national law, which was approved by the National People's Congress, became effective in May.

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