Overloaded roads feed holiday death toll
By Cao Desheng (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-10-10 05:59
Roads swollen with tourist traffic resulted in at least 10 major accidents,
claiming at least five lives each, during the week-long National Day holiday,
according to official figures.
Officials from the traffic management department of the Ministry of Public
Security said most of the accidents were caused by tired drivers or overloaded
Since China adopted "golden week" holidays in 1999 for May Day, National Day
and Spring Festival, many urban Chinese have used the time-off as an opportunity
to travel, testing the nation's massive transport infrastructure.
"The conflict between heavy passenger flow and limited transport capacity has
created a bottleneck for travelling during the holidays," Zhang Xiqin,
vice-director of the State Tourism Administration, told a news conference over
Official statistics show more than 38.3 million passengers caught the train
while at least 326 million trips were made by road during the holiday.
Although the train is seen as a safe and cheap means of transport, the
limited capacity and difficulty in getting a ticket forced many to turn to road
transport. Overloaded coaches and buses are a common site, increasing the risk
Statistics suggest the holiday scheme, initiated to boost the economy, has
fulfilled its mission.
According to the Ministry of Commerce, the retail volume of consumer goods
reached 270 billion yuan(US$ 33.3 billion) during the holiday, up 14.2 per cent
on last year.
According to the Administration of Tourism, tourism revenue amounted to 46.3
billion yuan (US$ 5.7 billion), up 7.5 per cent on last year.
(China Daily 10/10/2005 page2)