Beijing, China (CNN) -- Driving in China is dangerous in no small part because many drivers tend to ignore traffic rules.
In 2011, China recorded more than 2 million road accidents, which led to more than 62,000 deaths, according to China's transport ministry.
Despite steps to punish violators with harsher penalties, many drivers are crying foul.
The revised rules took effect nationwide on Tuesday, the start of the new year.
They include heavier penalties for drunken driving, talking on the phone while driving, as well as for running red and yellow lights.
Each violation incurs the deduction of points from a driver's license, and the deduction of 12 points results in the suspension of a driver's license.
To get it back, the driver must undergo a seven-day class of traffic rules and take a test.
Many drivers thumb down the tougher rules, especially the one that considers a yellow traffic light the same as a red light. Running through them twice within a year can now result in the suspension of a license.
"I'm among the first victims of the new rule," wrote netizen @SunYiXuan on Chinese microblogging website Sina Weibo, "I hit the car before me this morning when the driver slammed on the brake when the light turned yellow. Slow down when you're 1 km away from the traffic lights. Good luck my friends."
Unlike in some cities, Beijing has not installed traffic lights with numerical countdowns before they change, making it difficult for drivers to slow down or stop in time.
"If yellow light equals red light, we don't even need green lights any more. On and off of one light can do the work," @YuJianShouQing posted.
A poll on Weibo shows 13,000 users, or 84%, of netizens who responded considered the new rule as "unacceptable".
Beijing's traffic management bureau says the new regulations will be carried out strictly, even if countdown screens are not installed.
According to local newspapers, the first traffic ticket for running a yellow light was issued Tuesday in Chengdu, a city in southwest China. Other cities like Shenzhen do not plan to punish drivers who run yellow lights -- for now.
Still, a Chinese official from the Public Security Ministry's traffic control bureau said road accidents in five major cities -- Beijing, Tianjin, Nanjing, Hangzhou and Jinan -- have decreased by 9% to 30% since the new rules took effect.
另外，中国公共安全部交通控制局官员称：新交规实施后，在五个主要城市，北京、天津、南京、杭州和济南的道路交通事故已经减少了9% 到 30%。
Gang Nam Style = Korean
Gang Rape Style = Indian
Gang Safe style = China
That is the problem with the mindsets of the world. People want convenience and profit regardless of the suffering of others and self.
With modern technologies, installing sensors that communicate with the traffic lights and other vehicles might just reduce the accident to zero. For example when the lights are turning red, a signal will be transmitted to the vehicles and a warning sounds in the vehicles. If no response is receive from the driver , the vehicles automatically slows to a stop in tandem with all other vehicles behind it. Okay?
It sucks about the yellow light deal, but at the same time...62,000 deaths in one year is just nuts.
Law of Natural Selection
You are such an annoying Indian. Why don't you go have some curry?
Maybe you should have some chow main first
I like the new rule!
I would be wary of the statistics showing reductions in road accidents. Local Chinese officials are notorious for cooking the books to look good.
Perhaps CNN could have at least gotten a rationale from the Chinese government for why a yellow light is treated the same as a red light. A yellow light is supposed to be a warning only.
i hate the new traffic rules.
Don't drive then.