According to Huang Ming, Vice Minister for public security, the numbers of China's automobiles and drivers increased by 9.53 million and 9.04 million respectively in the first seven months of this year alone.  In 1986, China had only 3.62 million automobiles and 5.17 million drivers, reported a news agency citing Huang while addressing a symposium on road safety on Thursday.

The official also stressed that China had become an auto society due to rapid economic and social development. Hang informed that as on the end of 2012, the country had more than 240 million motor vehicles, including 120 million automobiles, and more than 200 million people possessed driver licenses.

Though the roads measured barely 1 million km in 1986, Huang said, the length of the roads in service has today reached 4.24 million km, with the longest highways in the world. The Vice Minister admitted that although China sees far fewer road traffic accidents now compared to previous years, the country still lags far behind developed countries in road safety.

(Agencies)

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