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22 laws, regulations take effect
Updated: 2004-05-02 08:50

Twenty-two national laws and regulations have come into force on Saturday, in which the spirit of "putting people the first" is enshrined.

The law on road transportation safety, which has been deliberated by the National People's Congress (NPC) Standing Committee four times and passed last October, gives more priority to pedestrians, regulating that automobiles must slow down before reaching crosswalks and on the road without traffic signals, automobiles must make way for pedestrians.

The law says every automobile owner must pay insurance premium for the third party, and a social aid fund for road traffic accidents will be established to help pay medical fees for the injured in traffic accidents.

The law also requires that only police wagons, fire trucks, ambulances and wrecking trucks have the preferential right of passage. Military automobiles must strictly obey traffic rules, if without military tasks to enforce.

From May 1, 2004, a batch of new judicial interpretations on personal injury compensation will come into force. The judicial interpretations stipulate that if citizens are injured because of insufficient security measures at public venues, such as banks, hotels and entertainment places, the person or unit in charge has the responsibility to compensate victims.

The judicial interpretations also stipulate that education organizations, like kindergartens and schools have a duty to supervise the safety of children and students below the age of 18.If personal injury cases occur, education authorities should compensate.

The new judicial interpretations say "hero"-- people who get injuries for safeguarding the interests of state, collective or other people, must be compensated.

"The new judicial interpretations on personal injury compensation fill a gap in the legislation on personal injury compensation in China," said Huang Songyou, vice-president of China's Supreme People's Court, when the judicial interpretations were announced to the public last December, adding that previously, China had compensation rules only for victims of traffic accidents or electric shock.

The prisoner behavior regulation has also taken effect from May.1, 2004. At the same time, the original prisoner reform behavior regulation is abolished. The new regulation focuses more on human rights protection, regulating that prisoner's clothes, ticks and quilts must be changed and washed regularly and prisoners have the right to freely choose their own hair styles, a sharp contrast with the past situation, in which male prisoners had to wear a crew cut and female prisoners ear-high bobbed hair.

The regulation on land and resources hearing system requires local governments to have hearings on any variation of benchmark land prices and the land requisition plans. When devising the compensation plan for the land requisition, local governments are required to inform the plaintiff of the right to ask for a public hearing.

Other laws and regulations, which have taken effect from May 1,include the regulation on law firm's charge procedure; penalty measures on unlawful behavior of lawyers and law firms; regulation on conservation of biological resources in Bohai Sea and trial measures on entrepreneur's annuity management, among others.

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