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China officially launches Decade of Action for Road Safety
BY 2011-05-12 07:19:07

    BEIJING, May 11 (Xinhua) -- China, along with 70 other countries, officially launched the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020) on Wednesday.

    Representatives from the cities of Dalian and Suzhou shared their experience concerning road safety and called on all Chinese cities to take further steps in ensuring road safety at a launching ceremony held in Beijing on Wednesday.

    Actress Michelle Yeoh, well-known for her roles in action films,delivered a speech at the ceremony. Students from Beijing read a poem urging people to take action to prevent traffic accidents.

    A forum to discuss the prevention of traffic accidents was held after the ceremony.

    Traffic accidents are the principal cause of death for people between the ages of 10 and 24 in China, according to official statistics. The statistics also said that more than half of traffic-related deaths involve victims between the ages of 15 and 44.

    The ceremony marks the latest move by the Chinese government to improve traffic safety in the country.

    China's newly-amended Road Traffic Safety Law, which took effect on May 1, states that people caught driving drunk will have their driver's licenses revoked. Drunk drivers will also need to wait for five years to apply for new licenses.

    An earlier version of the law imposed a license suspension of three to six months.

    China has also increased investments in public health and has improved the capability of its hospitals to treat traffic accident victims.

    The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution in March of last year to proclaim the 2011-2020 period as the UN Decade of Action for Road Safety.

    Nearly 1.3 million people die each year on the world's roads, making traffic accidents the ninth leading cause of death globally, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). In addition, road crashes cause between 20 million and 50 million non-fatal injuries every year, according to the WHO.

(Editor:Zhao Jie) (From:Xinhua)
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