Guangdong officials critical after Shenzhen refuses to punish yellow light violations

PUBLISHED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 12:04pm
UPDATED : Friday, 04 January, 2013, 8:04pm

China’s newest traffic regulation to ban drivers of motor vehicles from running yellow lights, which came into effect on Tuesday, has been criticised and ridiculed by drivers across the nation.

Even local traffic authorities voiced doubts.

Shenzhen officials said they would not be punishing violators yet since their system was not capable of taking photos of drivers running yellow lights. They explained that they would also need more time to draft reasonable enforcement protocols.

While local drivers applauded Shenzhen’s handling of the controversial regulation, Guangdong’s provincial officials seemed less happy.

Guangdong officials lashed out at Shenzhen’s lack of action on Thursday, reported Chinese media on Friday.

“What Shenzhen did was against traffic laws and requirements of the State Council,” said a provincial traffic official.

Defending their decision, a Shenzhen traffic official said he didn’t think Shenzhen’s approach was “inappropriate”.

“We simply need some time to upgrade our system,” he said. He added that Shenzhen will implement the law once the preparations are done.

Drivers who are caught crossing an intersection on a yellow light in China now face severe penalties under the new rule. In the past, a driver who ran a red would lose three points, in a 12-point system. Now running a red or a yellow light will cost the driver six points.

A driver who loses all 12 points will have their licence suspended and will need to take a test to get it back.

Officials from China’s Ministry of Public Security told Xinhua news agency on Wednesday that the number of traffic violations had already dropped significantly since the new law came into effect on Tuesday.