Car blamed in PLA fender-bender

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By ZHAO LEI zhaolei@chi­

The Chi­nese mil­i­tary on Thurs­day gave de­tails of an ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a mo­tor­cade of ar­mored ve­hi­cles, dis­miss­ing some in­ter­net users’ ac­cu­sa­tions against the Peo­ple’s Lib­er­a­tion Army.

Ac­cord­ing to China Na­tional De­fense, a news­pa­per af­fil­i­ated with PLA Daily, the ac­ci­dent took place on July 6 in front of a res­i­den­tial com­pound in an uniden­ti­fied city. A col­umn of PLA ar­mored ve­hi­cles on the way to an emer­gency re­sponse ex­er­cise en­coun­tered an im­pa­tient driver who tried to drive her Jeep be­tween the mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles.

The PLA ve­hi­cle’s op­er­a­tor braked up but it still hit the Jeep, the news­pa­per said. No one was in­jured.

A traf­fic po­lice officer de­ter­mined that the woman was re­spon­si­ble. Then ev­ery­one left the scene and the mo­tor­cade con­tin­ued.

How­ever, af­ter a video shot by passers-by was pub­lished on the in­ter­net, some ne­ti­zens ac­cused the mo­tor­cade of trav­el­ing in densely pop­u­lated ar­eas and trou­bling com­muters.

In re­sponse, China Na­tional De­fense quoted the po­lice officer han­dling the ac­ci­dent as ex­plain­ing that the Law on Road Traf­fic Safety stip­u­lates that gov­ern­ment and mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles have prece­dence on the road in case of emer­gen­cies and the ar­mored ve­hi­cles were to take part in an emer­gency re­sponse drill, so it met the stip­u­la­tion.

The chief of the ar­mored ve­hi­cle’s crew told the news­pa­per that the Jeep driver was lucky be­cause the mo­tor­cade was trav­el­ing slowly, oth­er­wise she could have been badly in­jured.

A mil­i­tary af­fairs ob­server in Shang­hai told China Daily that the ar­mored ve­hi­cle is the PLA’s ZSL-92 wheeled ar­mored per­son­nel car­rier, which weighs around 13 met­ric tons.

“It is re­ally un­wise for any civil­ian driver to try to cut in a mo­tor­cade of mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles, let alone the heavy-duty ar­mored car­ri­ers. Even if you don’t re­spect traf­fic rules, you should un­der­stand that mil­i­tary ve­hi­cles are built to be very sturdy to with­stand im­pact in com­bat,” he said. “Crush­ing a civil­ian car is like a piece of cake to them.”

Screen­shot from a video posted on­line shows a PLA ve­hi­cle col­lid­ing with a Jeep.

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