Drunk Driving Crackdown In Beijing

Traffic safety is an emerging issue in China, and officials are treating drunk driving, the cause of more than 50% of traffic fatalities, severely - so much so that a new business is flourishing: chauffeur service.
July 25, 2011, 7am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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While the thrust of the article is describing the new chauffeur service, also stimulated by the traffic control measure of doubling the parking rates in downtown Beijing, it describes the greater issue of road safety in China.

"With the number of cars on Chinese roads tripling in the past five years, the government has begun a crackdown on drunken driving, imposing stiff prison sentences.

The number of traffic accidents (sic) in China rose 36 percent, to 3.9 million in 2010, resulting in one death every nine minutes, according to the Public Security Ministry.

China implemented its first road safety traffic law in 2004, mandating helmets for motorcyclists and seat belts for passengers in the front seat."

Exact fatality rates appear to be difficult to verify. According to China Daily, "the China Automotive Technology Research Center said (in 2010) that traffic deaths dropped 28 percent from 2004 to 2009, with 67,000 deaths in 2009."

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Published on Sunday, July 24, 2011 in Bloomberg Businessweek via SF Chronicle
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