China's New Traffic Law Seems Designed To Cause Car Crashes

A new law in China makes driving through a yellow light illegal. As of yesterday, unless a car is partly over the line when the light goes from green to yellow, it must stop, according to the AP.

Drivers in China are not pleased with the change in law, and correctly argue that it is impossible to stop a car at a moment's notice. After all, that is why yellow lights exist: To warn drivers to slow down before they need to stop completely.

Amy Li of the South China Morning Post reports that critics include China's state Xinhua News Agency: A post on its Weibo blog noted: "This new rule is against Newton's first law of motion."

According to Li, the idea of the regulation is to curb traffic violations. But if drivers do try to stop suddenly to avoid being penalized, it seems likely that crashes, especially rear-endings, will rise.

Violating the new regulation comes with a steep penalty: Drivers caught running a yellow or a red light will lose six points in a 12-point system. Once a driver loses all 12 points, he must undergo training and pass a new exam, the AP reported.

Running a red light used to come with a penalty of three points.

But while the new rule is in effect, Li reports that traffic authorities currently lack the camera systems that would be used to identify violators.



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