The number of speeding- and drunk driving-related injuries in China surged in the years immediately preceding 2004 and then began to decline. However, the percent decrease in the number of speeding and drunk driving incidents (decrease by 22%) is not proportional to the corresponding percent decrease in number of automobile accident-related injuries (decrease by 47%) from the year 2004 to 2010 (Traffic Management Bureau, Ministry of Public Security, Annual Statistical Reports on Road Traffic Accidents). Earlier studies have established traffic violations as one of the major risks threatening road safety. In this study, we examine in greater detail two important types of traffic violation events, speeding and drunk driving, and attempt to identify significant risk factors associated with these types of traffic violations. Risk factors in several different dimensions, including driver, vehicle, road and environmental factors, are considered. We analyze the speeding (N = 11,055) and drunk driving (N = 10,035) data for the period 2006-2010 in Guangdong Province, China. These data, obtained from the Guangdong Provincial Security Department, are extracted from the Traffic Management Sector-Specific Incident Case Data Report and are the only comprehensive and official source of traffic accident data in China. Significant risk factors associating with speeding and drunk driving are identified. We find that several factors are associated with a significantly higher probability of both speeding and drunk driving, particularly male drivers, private vehicles, the lack of street lighting at night and poor visibility. The impact of other specific and unique risk factors for either speeding or drunk driving, such as hukou, road type/grades, commercial vehicles, compulsory third party insurance and vehicle safety status, also require particular attention. Legislative or regulatory measures targeting different vehicle types and/or driver groups with respect to the various driver, vehicle, road and environmental risk factors can subsequently be devised to reduce the speeding and drunk driving rates. As the country with the highest number of traffic accident fatalities in the world, applying these findings in workable legislation and enforcement to reduce speeding and drunk driving rates will save tens of thousands of lives. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.