China bans over 17,000 people from driving for life

BEIJING (Xinhua) – A total of 17,264 Chinese were banned from driving for life in 2018, the Ministry of Public Security said yesterday.

Among them, 5,149 were caught drunk driving in serious traffic accidents and faced criminal prosecution, said a ministry statement published at a press conference.

The remaining 12,115 were involved in serious hit and run cases, the statement said.

The ministry also announced that the death toll in traffic accidents dropped by 0.9 per cent from 2017 to 2018, while the number of serious traffic accidents that caused 10 or more deaths was reduced by 44.4 per cent year-on-year to just five.

The country has registered 22.85 million new automobiles and 22.55 million new drivers, with 86,000km of highways put into operation in 2018.

The ministry estimated that about 2.46 billion journeys will be made by road in 2019 and pledged to be well prepared for the approaching Spring Festival holiday peak-season.