• Mon
  • Dec 22, 2014
  • Updated: 3:12pm
NewsChina Insider

Smartphones, social media blamed for Beijing traffic jams

Drivers talking to friends on Wechat or snapping photos and posting messages on Weibo were a major cause of road accidents during the golden week holiday

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 08 October, 2013, 2:07pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 08 October, 2013, 2:56pm

Distracted Beijing drivers playing with their smartphones were the primary cause of road accidents and traffic jams during the “golden week” holiday, said traffic authorities in the Chinese capital.

Drivers talking to friends on Wechat, a popular instant messaging platform, or snapping photos and posting messages on Weibo while driving had resulted in poor driving and collisions, according to authorities.

Officials arrived at the conclusion after analysing accident data collected by traffic police over the past week, said a Beijing Daily report.

As holidaymakers returned home on Monday, the last day of the one-week holiday, Beijing experienced severe traffic jams.

At one point in the afternoon, 20 kilometres of roads were congested, said traffic police.

“I moved one kilometre in two hours,” a stranded driver wrote on Weibo.

Beijing is notorious for traffic jams that can sometimes remain gridlocked for hours and even days. The city is reported to be considering charging drivers a "congestion fee" to help reduce the number of road users.


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This article is now closed to comments

I agree this does have an impact. How many times do I see drivers talking, smoking, texting while driving, or stopping traffic as they fail to notice the lights turned green. You don't need a Golden Week for that. Chinese have zero respect for traffic rules and for others. And nowhere do you see the traffic police acting. They only pester drivers to fill their quota of fines. Ever seen a policeman stopping and fining a driver who talks on the phone while driving? Of course never.
Try preventing Chinese drivers from driving and using their phones!
Of course, smartphone use was the cause of traffic jams during Golden Week. It can’t possibly be because everyone in the most populated nation in the world are trying to get to the same tourist locations.
While we’re at it, the aging population can’t possibly because of the one-child policy.
The pollution problems can’t possibly be because of uncontrolled aggressive economic expansion.
Actually none of the nation’s problems are because of the leaders of the nation and their decisions/indecisions.


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