Proposed traffic regulation under fire
By Wu Jiao (China Daily)
Updated: 2006-03-17 05:43
NANJING: A proposed traffic regulation aimed at stopping jaywalkers by
punishing them at work has come under fire from residents and experts.
The plans were released recently by local media in Nanjing, capital of East
China's Jiangsu Province.
The new regulation, still being drafted, proposes that all enterprises and
institutes in the city work together with the traffic bureaux to jointly punish
those walking on roads against traffic regulations.
Under the new rules, work promotions and bonuses could be denied for
employees who are repeatedly reported for jaywalking by traffic policemen,
reportedly Yangtze Evening Post.
A man runs across
the road on a red pedestrian light in this file photo.
Some 271 deaths were attributed to jaywalking last year in Nanjing, counting
for 48 per cent of the total death toll in traffic accidents.
Many residents claim more attention should instead be paid to the safety of
people, particularly the old and young, using pedestrian crossings, as they
claim the green "walk lights" are too short at some major crossroads.
And others have hit out at the new proposed regulations.
"What's the meaning of making a fuss of these trivialities, which are mostly
unintended?" said Wang Wei, who works for a foreign-funded enterprise. "It may
also violate our human rights."
Lawyer Liu Zhengchao, from the Contemporary Security Law Firm, questioned the
feasibility of the proposal.
"People's salaries should be based on one's professional performance. It is
nonsense to say their wages could be affected by things that happen outside of
work," said Liu.
But the country's Road Traffic Safety Law states clearly that every institute
or company has the responsibility to educate their staff on traffic regulations,
according to a worker surnamed Zhang with Nanjing Municipal Traffic
"Therefore, we are seeking co-operation with each unit for a more efficient
way to combat jaywalking. But whether they will agree or not is still up to
them. We have no right to force them to accept it," said Zhang.
According to Zhang, Nanjing's traffic management and system has been
acknowledged as the best across the country for the past four years. But
jaywalkers have endangered both its safety and image.
The situation has been worsened by speeding drivers and construction projects
blocking major roads.
An existing group of "traffic co-ordinators" is mainly responsible for
tackling jaywalking in Nanjing.
"It's tough," said a traffic co-ordinator in Baixia Road.
"Plenty of people still ignore traffic rules, even if I give them the sign to
stop. Unless severe punishments are imposed on them, those pedestrians will
Zhang said tackling the issue would take a long time.
"It is a long-term problem. It needs years of publicity and education to
adjust their traffic habits. We have only just started," he said.
The city has already beefed up its punishments against jaywalkers since the
start of this month.
Jaywalkers will be fined 20 yuan (US$2.5) if they cross
roads on a red pedestrian light or do not use zebra crossings, and the fine
soars to 50 yuan (US$6.25) for cyclists and moped drivers.