Heavy vehicles targeted in road safety campaign
Over 38,000 offenses from long-distance buses, tourist buses, tank trucks transporting industrial chemicals and heavy trucks have been identified so far in an August road safety campaign, Shanghai traffic police said on Thursday.
Among the offenses, over 800 came from buses taking more people and trucks loading more goods than allowed, as well as driver fatigue.
Police have beefed up their operations at 29 check stations located at the border of Shanghai and neighboring provinces and stopped checks at night when rear-end collisions happen at a higher frequency than during the day.
Zhou Gang, vice head of the expressway police unit of Pudong traffic police, said offenses from trucks are often about missing rear and side protective devices and reflective tape, illegal use of small vehicle lanes, emergency lanes or road verges on expressways, and not setting up warning signs on the expressway when stopping due to mechanical failures or traffic accidents.
“Injuries and casualties often happen in accidents involving trucks on expressways due to high speed,” said Zhou.
Two truck accidents happened on the southern part of the G1501 expressway on early Thursday morning. One of them, which was a pileup involving four trucks, caused one death and two injures, police said.
Meanwhile, police have been looking out for driver fatigue which is also a constant cause of traffic accidents.
On Wednesday afternoon, a tired truck driver veered from the road and damaged a 100 meter section of the S1 expressway which connects Pudong International Airport with the urban area.
Zhou said this kind of offense is usually discovered after accidents take place.
“When patrolling the expressways, we will stop zigzagging drivers who are highly likely to be driving under fatigue,” he said. “But we fine them only if they look really tired or admit that they are tired.”
Such drivers are fined 200 yuan (US$30) with no demerit on their licenses.
Cheeky truck tricks
A truck driver was fined 200 yuan with 12 demerit points on Wednesday afternoon for altering his plates to avoid detection, Yangpu traffic police said on Thursday.
From the driver’s cab, a wire cable was installed to pull the plate on the back of the truck up and down, allowing the driver to conceal the number when passing traffic cameras.
The driver, a man surnamed Zhang, claimed that he invented the device to make space for bamboo sticks which he inserted under the truck when they weren't being used to fasten goods.
Police said any irregular installation of registration plates will be punished by the law.