In light of the high number of fatal crashes on Chinese roads, new technologies are being encouraged that will reduce the number of people killed.
According to a report by Chinese and German agencies at the First International Transportation Safety Expo, China’s death toll from road accidents is second-highest in the world, behind India, with 63,093 people killed in 2016.
Moreover, the total number of road accidents in 2016－8.6 million－grew 16.5 percent year-on-year. And 21.4 people per 100,000 population in China were killed on the road, a 2.9 percent increase.
The report was prepared by the State Administration of Work Safety, the Ministry of Transport and Dekra, a vehicle safety inspection organization based in Berlin.
The three-day expo, which aimed to promote transportation safety and to exchange advanced technology and ideas, ended on Dec 21.
While safety problems remain, the number of serious road accidents－those with more than 10 deaths－fell to 11 in 2016 from 55 in 2004, Sun Huashan, deputy head of China’s Work Safety Administration, said at the opening of the expo.
Liu Xiaoming, vice-minister of transport, said: “It is our obligation to build transportation systems that satisfy our people and fulfill their needs.”
Safety has always been a priority, Liu said.
About 40 companies demonstrated new technologies, equipment and services at the expo.
A new bus with a camera that can monitor the driver’s eyes and detect fatigue was presented by Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Co, a major manufacturer in China.
“If the driver is found to be tired, such as blinking a lot, the driver’s seat will vibrate as a reminder and wake up the driver,” said Guo Yaohua, director of the company’s technical research department.
New materials were also on display for use in tunnels and making road signs.
“The new materials for road signs can maintain their color and brightness for 12 years and resist erosion from the wind, sun and rain,” said Liu Ziyu, a technical expert at 3M China, which manufactures protective gear and other safety equipment.
The material for tunnels helps drivers see more clearly, and can be used inside the tunnels themselves or on vehicles.