Opinion / Web Comments

Yellow light rule U-turn

By Annie Lin ( Updated: 2013-01-07 15:16

China’s new traffic rules, which took effect on Tuesday, have drawn severe criticism online. Under the new rules, running a yellow light would be equivalent to running a red light and cost drivers a deduction of 6 points, 12 points results in the suspension of a driver’s license.

Drivers complain the rule is confusing. A yellow light is supposed to be a warning and the red light is imperative, drivers argue how can they stop suddenly for a yellow light, as it’s contrary to Newton’s first law? In addition, if drivers have to slow when approaching the intersection, it may lead to worse traffic congestion.

A poll on Weibo shows 84 percent considered the new rule "unacceptable".

If the traffic authorities took full consideration of public opinion during the rule-making process, they may not have been put in such an awkward situation.

The Traffic law is relevant to everyone’s life. The public has the right to participate in the whole process of law-making. Public opinion must be absorbed and integrated in the final version to guarantee the smooth implementation of the law, or it will be no surprise the public will embarrass the authorities by thumbing down or boycotting the rule.

It is good to know the penalty on running a yellow light has been put on hold. Hopefully, the authorities could learn lessons from the incident. China’s road civility should be established and violation of traffic rules should be heavily punished. However, closed-door decision-making is by no means an effective way to tackle the problem, worse, it may become a source of new trouble.

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