BEIJING, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese police will tighten patrol and inspection efforts to ensure road safety during the 40-day Spring Festival travel rush period starting Jan. 16 in China, according to the Ministry of Public Security (MPS).
Traffic management authorities plan to carry out two safety checks nationwide ahead of the major festival season to ensure safe and smooth journeys, the ministry's traffic management bureau said on Thursday.
During the checkups, authorities will target unsafe vehicles and unqualified drivers and ensure all dangerous road sections prone to fog and rollover accidents have warning signs erected.
Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, will fall on Jan. 31. It is the most important Chinese holiday for family reunions, making it a hectic time for the country's public transportation system.
Nearly 3.28 billion trips are expected to be made by road during the traffic peak between Jan. 16 and Feb. 24, according to the bureau.
Authorities will focus on overloading, fatigue, illegal road operations, and drivers operating vehicles for which they are not licensed during the rush period checkups.
Inspection should be enhanced on passenger buses, tourist coaches, chartered buses for migrant workers, microbuses, and cargo trucks transporting dangerous materials, according to the bureau.
The bureau warned related agencies to guard against harsh weather, including haze, snow and sleet.
China will also step up efforts to crack down on crimes involving drunk driving, according to a circular jointly issued on Thursday by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate and the MPS.
The circular defines drunk driving in detail, and details heavier punishment for drunk drivers, specific fines and procedures on the application of coercive measures.
Chinese authorities have investigated or punished 871,000 cases of drunk driving since the country's revised Criminal Law came into effect in May 2011, marking a 39.3 percent year-on-year decrease, according to the circular.