All around the city, Shanghai drivers have been speculating about what the local government’s new driving regulations have in store for them.
The new laws, which went into effect last weekend, impose stricter measures for drivers, including fines for driving without a seatbelt, not strapping children under the age of four into safety seats, driving while texting and changing more than two lanes at a time.
Shanghai has made a big push this year to improve traffic safety. In January, authorities announced that drivers who don't give way to pedestrians would be fined RMB100 in efforts to improve zebra crossing safety. They even installed cameras at select intersections to enforce the crackdown.
Recently, Shanghai has also seen an increase in innovative new sources of public transport, such as bike sharing and improved bus lines. These new additions however, have also seen their fair share of issues. Along with that, there's also already been a handful of recent road rule changes to include stricter penalties on unlicensed electronic bikes.
However, that's not to say, the new rules aren't helping. Accidents have continued to drop, according to traffic police.
Due to Shanghai’s sharp increase in drivers over the last few years, new driving regulations have been expected for some time. Just last year, Shanghai saw a 13 percent increase in drivers, which led to city traffic becoming less manageable, especially around peak hours.
East Day reports that the new emphasized changes in traffic regulation include the following:
1. New cars can only apply for a maximum of two permits, each 15 days long.
2. Buying or selling driving points will incur heavy penalties.
3. Bus lanes will be open during the weekends, and holidays.
4. Answering the phone, or browsing an electronic device while driving is prohibited.
6. Children under the age of twelve cannot sit in the front seat.
7. Private parking in front of hotels will be disallowed.
8. Four traffic violations will affect your public credit score.
Like many large scale cities of its kind, Shanghai faces traffic issues that are not easily resolved. Nonetheless, city officials clearly see a need to put some restrictions on a city that shows no indication of slowing down anytime soon.
[Image via East Day]