China's military vehicle drivers have been ordered to watch their behavior and abide strictly by the road rules, according to a new regulation of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).
The regulation, jointly issued by the four PLA general departments -- the Headquarters of the General Staff, General Political Department, General Logistics Department and General Armament Department -- prohibits speeding, running red lights and drink-driving.
Other banned behavior includes dangerous lane changes, fatigue driving and running through restricted areas.
The regulation requires drivers to abide by national and local traffic rules. "Those who are recorded and reported by the police will be punished accordingly," it said.
PLA transportation and logistic departments at all levels are required to improve supervision and regularly check military cars to ensure safe driving and "maintain the image of the army", according to the regulation.
In China, military cars are legally entitled to certain privileges, including exemption from road tolls, but they are often seen blatantly breaking road rules. Police are usually reluctant to pull over drivers of military cars for fear of being accused of obstructing military missions.
To ease public complaints about military drivers, the PLA launched a four-month campaign in September last year to monitor and strictly punish bad driving.
The regulation has been effective since Nov. 19 and also applies to the armed police.
(Xinhua News Agency November 23, 2007)