Some Chinese Drivers Intentionally Kill Pedestrians They Hit — What’s Behind The Disturbing Trend

Patricia Didelot - Author

Sep. 9 2015, Updated 8:18 a.m. ET

Some Chinese drivers reportedly kill the pedestrians they accidentally hit, but the more disturbing thing is that this trend is not as uncommon as the world might think in the Asian country known for its traffic congestion.

The perfect example took place in 2008, when a driver hit a 64-year-old grandmother and proceeded to run her over, several times, until she was dead. According to Geoffrey Sant — a professor at Fordham Law School and board member of the New York Chinese Cultural Center — the motorist said he thought he was driving over a trash bag and was not charged with murder, but spent three years in prison for negligence.

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But Sant writes in Slate that these horrific incidents are more common that one may think, and even more disturbing is this popular saying that these particular drivers may be taking to heart: “It is better to hit to kill than to hit and injure.”

If the story of the grandmother wasn’t troubling enough, in April, according to Slate, a Chinese driver racing a fancy BMW struck a 2-year-old girl at a Chinese fruit market in Guangdong province. The child’s grandmother desperately yelled, “Stop, you’ve hit a child!” However, undeterred, the driver put his car on reverse and drove over the toddler and later drove forward once more.

When the unlicensed driver finally stopped and got out of the vehicle, she reportedly offered the family a deal.

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“Don’t say that I was driving the car. Say it was my husband. We can give you money.”

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Contrary to what most in the Western world would think, this horrific behavior is with drivers in China who are involved in accidents, and several security cameras have captured incidents such as these. The shocking images show motorists driving over their victims over and over until they are dead.

In the case of the grandmother, the driver behind the wheel was identified as Chinese citizen Zhao Xiao Cheng, and in this instance, evidence was provided thanks to security cameras. A television anchor reporting on the horrific incident said, “You can see online an endless stream of stories talking about cases similar to this one.”

In his Slate piece, Sant recalls his own experience while working as a teacher in Taiwan. A co-worker drove him to work and after nearly missing a motorcyclist in the mid 1990s, he calmly said, “If I hit someone, I’ll hit him again and make sure he’s dead.”

What is really behind this shocking trend is purely monetary. Sant’s friend told him that if he hits and injures someone, he would have to pay the person’s medical expenses for the rest of their lives, but if they are killed, their only cost would be a funeral fee.

These Chinese drivers who fatally hit someone could face a one-time compensation between $30,000 and $50,000. Once the amount is paid, the matter is closed.

[Image via Shutterstock]


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