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Curb major accidents to ensure road safety during Spring Festival: ministry

From : Xinhua

BEIJING, Jan. 5, 2012 -- The Ministry of Public Security, which oversees the country's transportation safety, on Thursday ordered local traffic police departments nationwide to "curb major highway accidents and ensure traffic safety" during the upcoming Spring Festival holiday.

The Lunar New Year's Day falls on Jan. 23 this year, when many Chinese will travel to their hometowns to see their families. The festival is the busiest time of the year for China's massive highway network.

The ministry's order comes amid a series of severe road accidents. Six major accidents, claiming at least five lives each, have happened in China since Jan. 1.

Traffic police should be deployed at checkpoints where transprovincial highways meet, focusing on vehicles that carry seven people or more, including long-distance buses and school buses, the ministry said during a nationally televised traffic safety conference.

Traffic police should also communicate more effectively with weather departments and local media in order to provide the public with sufficient information about traffic and weather conditions, the ministry said.

The ministry said it has sent a team to investigate Wednesday's bus accident in southwest China's Guizhou province. The accident has claimed 18 lives so far.