Tragedy puts spot­light on the el­derly

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - COMMENT - ON SATUR­DAY,

a taxi drove into a group of peo­ple who were jog­ging in a ve­hi­cle lane in Linyi, East China’s Shan­dong prov­ince, leav­ing one jog­ger dead and two oth­ers in­jured. Bei­jing News com­ments:

Many ne­ti­zens have blamed the jog­gers for the tragedy, say­ing ve­hi­cle lanes are not meant for jog­ging. Some have even used of­fen­sive ex­pres­sions to crit­i­cize the jog­gers, even though most of them were se­nior cit­i­zens.

True, the jog­gers vi­o­lated traf­fic reg­u­la­tions, but that does not jus­tify the use of in­vec­tives against them. Be­sides, the jog­gers alone are not to blame for the in­ci­dent.

On Tues­day, the lo­cal po­lice said the jog­gers as well as the taxi driver are both re­spon­si­ble for the in­ci­dent. And they have enough rea­son to say so: A video shows that when the jog­gers took the ve­hi­cle lane, it was quite empty. More im­por­tantly, the taxi driver could see them from quite a dis­tance but she failed to adopt nec­es­sary mea­sures to avoid the ac­ci­dent.

It re­mains to be seen what pun­ish­ment the driver gets, but she can­not es­cape her le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity. Of course, the jog­gers should also be held ac­count­able for vi­o­lat­ing the traf­fic rules.

The tragedy re­minds us that more at­ten­tion should be paid to se­nior cit­i­zens’ needs. Many se­nior cit­i­zens par­tic­i­pate in group ac­tiv­i­ties, such as jog­ging and square danc­ing, be­cause they ful­fill their spir­i­tual needs. But such ac­tiv­i­ties of­ten arouse con­flicts be­tween se­nior cit­i­zens and other peo­ple be­cause there is hardly any space for the el­derly to so­cial­ize and en­gage in such ac­tiv­i­ties.

It’s time so­ci­ety as a whole took steps to make se­nior cit­i­zens’ lives bet­ter, for which we need open pub­lic dis­cus­sions as it in­volves pub­lic re­sources.

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