2007-12-23 01:56:27 Xinhua English
BEIJING, Dec. 23 (Xinhua) -- China's top legislature on Sunday began deliberation on the revision of an article in the country's road transportation safety law that has caused friction between vehicle drivers and pedestrians over the past three years.
The draft amendment to the Law on Road Transportation Safety, based on the principle of "showcasing respect to life", further clarified responsibilities and compensation among vehicle drivers, non-motorized vehicles and pedestrians.
It was submitted to the 31st session of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) for second reading.
It stipulated "if non-motorized vehicles drivers and pedestrians make no fault in accidents, the automobile drivers should bear the compensation liability".
It removed the exact proportions of compensation imposed over the vehicle drivers. These were stipulated in the draft amendment when it was submitted to the NPC Standing Committee for first reading in October.
The original version of the draft amendment said "if the automobile driver bears the main responsibility for an accident, he or she will bear 80 percent of compensation liability; if the automobile driver and a pedestrian or cyclist share equal responsibility, the driver should pay 60 percent of the total compensation; and if a pedestrian or cyclist bears the main responsibility, the driver should bear 40 percent of compensation liability".
Lawmakers said traffic accidents situations were complicated and setting the exact proportion of compensation liability could cause unfairness to the two parties in accidents, according to the Law Committee of the NPC Standing Committee.
It now read, "automobile drivers should bear less responsibility if evidence shows that non-motorized vehicle drivers or pedestrians were at fault. The automobile driver's compensation liability should be reduced according to the extent of the fault that the non-motorized vehicle drivers or pedestrians have made".
The draft amendment kept the stipulation in its first version. It stated: "If automobile drivers make no fault in accidents, they should face no more than 10 percent of the total compensation", despite opposition from many Chinese automobile drivers who worried that it may lead them to face compensation of a high amount although they are not to blame in the accidents.