By Tom Bannister
Xinhua reports that a recent survey indicates that 67% of Chinese drivers drive through red traffic lights. The survey, undertaken online by China Youth Daily and the Ministry of Public Security, looked at road safety issues. It was timed to coincide with China’s first ‘National Road Safety Day’, which is held every year on December 2nd (the date 12/2 look like the telephone number 122 used to report accidents). Attitudes towards traffic lights are particularly alarming because accidents caused by jumping red lights have already killed 768 people in China this year. Other findings included:
- 93.6% thought that traffic lights should be followed but only 80.1% fully understood what they meant
- 63.4% said they violated regulations because they were following what other drivers did
- 40.6% thought that they would not face prosecution for their traffic violations.
Other questions looked at general attitudes towards traffic, such as the one below:
What do you think causes traffic chaos in the place where you live？
1. Loads of people ignore traffic regulations like traffic lights.
2. Conflict between pedestrians and traffic.
3. Too many cars.
4. The road system is irrational.
5. Traffic zoning systems are unreasonable.
6. The urban population is too big.
7. Prioritising public transport is impractical.
8. Rush hour traffic.
Luckily the survey designers allowed multiple answers to be chosen.