Traffic dead down from last year in Guangdong
A total of 1,169 persons were killed and another 8,459 people injured in traffic accidents in South China's Guangdong Province during Spring Festival period ending on Sunday, officials said.
Xia Tao, deputy director of Traffic Management Department under Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Public Security, said the two figures represented a reduction of 12.5 per cent and 6.35 per cent respectively over Spring Festival 2003.
Addressing a news conference in Guangzhou yesterday, Xia said the number of deaths due to traffic accidents was reduced by 167 persons and 574 few people were hurt.
"Guangdong Province recorded a total of 9,407 highway traffic accidents between January 7 and February 15, an increase of 16.37 per cent from the corresponding period over last year," said Xia.
Of them, 30 were at least three fatalities involved.Fatal crashes left 120 people dead.
The most serious accident took place in the city of Huizhou in eastern part of Guangdong on February 1, when 13 persons were killed and 17 others injured when a coach collided with a truck on Huizhou-Shantou Expressway.
And most of the fatal traffic accidents occurred in Guangzhou,Shenzhen, Dongguan, Foshan, Huizhou and Jiamgmen, in the Pearl River Delta, which borders Hong Kong and Macao, Xia said.
In addition to the cold and drizzly weather during the Lunar New Year period, overloading and driving too fast have been attributed as causes for the accidents.
Xia said traffic police have inspected a total of 1,784 coaches which have been overloaded by at least 20 per cent during the past 40 days.
And 42-person coach was stopped carrying more than 120 passengers in the Guangdong Section of Zhuhai-Beijing Expressway on January 19, three days before the Lunar New Year.
The driver was later held in detention for 15 days.
More than 97 million persons travelled home by coaches from January 7 to February 15 in Guangdong Province. The figure represented an increase of 7 per cent from the same period of 2003.