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Chinese traffiс rules
March 08, 2019

Chinese traffiс rules

Chinese traffic regulations are quite specific, so anyone who wants to drive a car on Chinese highways should find his way round them. We’ll try to tell you what Chinese traffic rules are and whether you should be afraid of driving a car in China.

The situation on Chinese roads

A quarter of a million Chinese die every year as a result of traffic accidents. Road accidents are the main cause of death for people aged 15-45 years. Many foreigners refuse to drive, preferring to rent a car with a driver. Road traffic in China remains quite dangerous, despite all the measures taken by the Chinese government. Very fast and dense traffic requires a good knowledge of traffic rules, interchange maps and main highways. In the major cities of China, in addition to cars, scooters and motorcycles, urban transport, countless cyclists, rickshaws and taxis are also considered to be heavy traffic users. In the provinces, motor carriages and animal-drawn transport are added to this list. The whole set of these vehicles is continuously moving, changing lanes, ringing, beeping and buzzing.

Therefore, it is logical to characterize the traffic conditions on Chinese roads as extremely difficult. You should be extremely collected and attentive when driving on Chinese streets, try to control the situation every second. As in any unfamiliar terrain, it will be reasonable and safe to drive on the roads of China in a general traffic flow.

By the way, the traffic police in China is almost invisible. But there are cameras anywhere and everywhere. They will fix all violations and transfer them to the central computer. And then fines are automatically charged, points are deducted. And no one will send the violator a reminder of payment. You should occasionally go to the road department website yourself and check whether there is something not too pleasant. Otherwise, it may happen that a person has been deprived of a driver’s license for a month already, but continues to drive on the roads as if nothing happened.

Chinese system of traffic violations

In China, a point system of violations is adopted. A driver has 12 points, they are reset each year on January 1. Running a red light takes 6 points, exceeding a speed by more than 50% takes 12 points at once. Driving with a damaged, unreadable license plate also removes 12 points.

If violations are fixed by cameras, they can always write a ticket to any person who has a license, thus you can “stretch your 12 points out” for a year. So one dodger gave his 16 points to friends who leave China, and he also has 12 points.

If a police officer fixes the violation, and there are no more points, your license will have to be seized, and you will have to go through a two-week training in a special center, pay a fine, take an exam and get the license back. Your permit is returned if you pass this exam. If you don’t do this, you continue studies and re-take the exam. In the case of non-attendance of training or exam, the driver’s license is cancelled.

If the driver has received 12 or more penalty points twice in one year or 24 or more penalty points in total, he/she must also pass an exam to test driving skills.

During the first year after obtaining the driver’s license, the loss of all 12 points entails deprivation of the right to drive a vehicle for a whole year.

The driver gets twelve penalty points in the event of:

1) driving without an appropriate category of driver’s license;

2) driving while intoxicated;

3) driving a passenger bus (not including urban public transport) in excess of the maximum passengers number by more than 20%;

4) hiding from the accident site;

5) driving a vehicle without a license plate; driving a vehicle with fake or modified license plate, fake or modified driver’s license;

6) driving on the lane for oncoming traffic and turning through the traffic strip’s crossing on motorways;

7) when a bus stops on the motorway;

8) speeding by more than 20% on motorways, urban express roads, or more than 50% on other roads when driving a truck, bus, vehicle carrying dangerous cargo, and also speeding by more than 50% when driving other vehicles;

9) driving a bus or a vehicle carrying dangerous goods for more than four hours without stopping to rest or with stopping for less than 20 minutes.

The driver gets six penalty points for:

1) driving in case of withdrawal of the driver’s license;

2) driving in violation of traffic lights;

3) driving a passenger bus (not including urban public transport) in excess of the maximum passengers number by less than 20%;

4) speeding by less than 20% on motorways, urban express roads when driving a truck, bus, or vehicle carrying dangerous cargo;

5) speeding by more than 20%, but less than 50% when driving on other roads (except motorways, urban express roads);

6) driving a cargo vehicle with an excess of the maximum carrying capacity of more than 30%;

7) stopping a vehicle (except buses) on the carriageway of the motorway;

8) illegal driving on the special lane when moving on the motorway or urban express road;

9) violation of traffic rules when driving on the motorway in insufficient visibility conditions, etc.

The driver receives three penalty points in case of:

– driving a cargo vehicle with an excess of the maximum carrying capacity of less than 30%;

– driving on the motorway at a speed below the minimum;

– entrance to the motorway, if the driven vehicle is prohibited from driving on the motorway;

– violations of overtaking rules or driving on the lane for oncoming traffic;

– violation of towing rules;

– if the driver didn’t turn on hazard lights and didn’t put an emergency stop sign after an accident or emergency stop;

– if the driver hasn’t passed vehicle inspection, etc.

The driver gets two penalty points in case of violation of stopping rules and regulations for parking near the intersection; of driving a motorcycle without a helmet; of not wearing a seatbelt when driving on the motorway or urban express road; and etc.

One penalty point is given for a violation of passing rules, rules for the use of light signals, for the carriage of oversized cargo.

The Chinese are interested in traffic rules being observed by all citizens of the country and its guests. So don’t violate them. By the way, if you still don’t have an international driver’s license, you can easily and quickly process it on our website. With an international driver’s license, you can drive a car even on Chinese motorways!

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