New traffic rules for foreigners
Foreigners who are involved in traffic accidents may not be allowed to leave the country until the cases are settled. This new authority has been added to the Provisions on the Procedures for Handling Traffic Accidents, and will take effect in January.
However, it will be subordinate to the Regulations of China Concerning Consular Privileges and Immunities as well as other international conventions and agreements signed between China and other countries and international organizations, the MPS said. It is said that the provision conforms to international practices.
Now, more and more foreign visitors are attracted to the country, and a situation may arise where a foreigner involved in a traffic accident leaves the country before the case is settled. This could delay court proceedings, and a failure to compensate. The regulation also applies to the Chinese people.
The provision also enables public security departments to request courts to grant the seizure of properties until cases are resolved. Police may also seize the driving licenses of foreigners covered by diplomatic immunity, and face investigation if they agree.
If foreign parties refuse to be investigated, the issues will be solved through diplomatic channels.
The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) figures show that more than 44 million foreigners visited China in 2006, almost double the number in 2001. About 70,000 foreigners reside in Beijing, and Shanghai has more than 300,000 foreign residents.
When an accident happens, it is necessary to remove the vehicles from the scene to prevent a traffic jam and discuss an agreement, or call the police if no agreement can be reached.
Traffic police will be able to deal with the situation if damage is less than 2,000 yuan ($300). If the accident is serious it will be reported to the bureau’s foreign affairs department for further investigation.
Popularity: 1% [?]