Tougher penalties for driving that could take people to an early grave
took the initiative to give way to an ambulance during the evening rush hour in Shenzhen, South China’s Guangdong province, on Friday. As a result, the ambulance was able to convey a critically ill patient to hospital in less than three minutes. Beijing News comments:
A video showing the automobiles giving way to the ambulance, one by one, has gone viral online, as it is in sharp contrast with most people’s personal experience.
Many drivers cannot tolerate even a slight compromise to their “rights” on the road. Once behind the wheel, these drivers seem to suffer from selective amnesia, forgetting the basic rules of the road, and any etiquette or courtesy that they may display at other times.
Even though the traffic laws and regulations stipulate that automobiles should give way to pedestrians and non-motor vehicle users, nearly 4,000 people have lost their lives on pedestrian crossings in the past three years, 90 percent of which were the drivers’ responsibility, according to the Ministry of Public Security.
In March, in Jinan, East China’s Shandong province, a car intentionally passed an ambulance and impeded its progress for more than two minutes after the ambulance carrying a patient suffering a severe head injury overtook it. The car driver changed from one lane to another and kept braking. After the ambulance overtook the car again by driving on a section of the sidewalk, the car driver lowered his window and verbally abused the ambulance driver.
The driver of the car received just three penalty points and a fine of 200 yuan ($29).
China has more than 200 million vehicles on its roads and more than 320 million drivers. It is high time the traffic laws and rules were amended to increase the severity of penalties meted out to drivers for dangerous driving.