New traffic rules in China make running a yellow light illegal image

China enforced new traffic rules that make running a yellow light illegal, triggering criticism in the media and in the country’s online social networks.

According a report from Bloomberg, the new rules stipulate that drivers who fail to notice traffic signals get six demerit points, compared with three points previously. The country’s Ministry of Public Security defended the new rules, which officials say are aimed at reducing accidents in major cities and encourage safer and more civil driving. A driver accumulating 12 points will get its license suspended.

The new rules, which took effect January 1, have become one of the most popular topics on the Weibo microblogging service in the last 24 hours. The Youth Daily newspaper, run by the Chinese Communist Party Youth League, today published a commentary saying the rules are against science and will make drivers slow down, thus making traffic even worse.

According to the newspaper, the rule is impossible to observe because drivers won’t be able to brake in time for a full stop. The daily added authorities should have asked for the public’s opinion when drafting the regulations.

Even China’s official Xinhua News Agency said on its Weibo account the new laws should have been more „science-based and human.” Every year there are more than 250,000 road traffic fatalities in China.