Beijing Shuttle-Bus Accident Kills Seven

Published on Author croland
Beijing Traffic

In Country Driving: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory, Hessler describes a society that is learning to drive and the idiosyncrasies of the country’s new drivers. He relates that the Chinese rarely use turn signals, windshield wipers, seat belts, or headlights; they tailgate and honk at anything that moves. In a word, the Chinese driving community is immature. Additionally, the Chinese government has done nothing to alleviate the problem. Left turn lanes are often found on the right side of the road and highway police are rare. Fiberglass statues of police officers at some intersections, standing guard like human scarecrows, are ineffective.

Although these driving quirks of Chinese drivers are the basis for entertaining stories, there are significant consequences from the absence of driving regulations and controls. Today in Beijing, an accident involving two shuttle buses transporting Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. employees in China left 7 dead and more than 20 injured. The Taiwan-based electronics contract manufacturing company assembles electronics for companies such as Apple and Sony. This event once again raises questions about the state of driving in China and what should be done to increase safety.


4 Responses to Beijing Shuttle-Bus Accident Kills Seven

  1. China now has over 50,000 miles of road [expressways/highways]?. These roads help connect the agricultural areas of China to the ever growing Urban areas. This makes it that much more important for the government to rectify the problems with the rules of the road. It does not seem however that China is willing to dedicate the manpower and money to regulating the roads and enforcing laws. [why? evidence? isn’t the concern with safety a “normal” good? … the prof]

  2. Note mixed use: in small towns, pedestrians, carts, tractors, cars and buses may all share the road. In Shanghai the main roads are now much better, few to no bicycles or other vehicles that interrupt the flow of traffic. But you also need provision for parking…and side roads remain congested.

  3. The accident is surely devastating and alarming. But there’re two things I’d like to point out:
    1) The accident actually occurred in Zhengzhou, the capital city of Henan province, not Beijing. Beijing was where the news was reported. It makes it a lot different because industrial parks, especially in less-developed Henan, usually are very crowded, and not environmental friendly. It’s also reported in the news that the shuttle was run by private transportation companies, so I’m guessing Hon Hai people rode or were forced to ride cheap shuttles that had safety issues.
    2) As a Beijinger, I’d have to make it clear that of course safety is one of people’s concerns… and there’re many rules and regulations. For example, I have to say getting a driver’s license in China is way harder than it is in the U.S. The newest regulation demands that all drivers take four tests before getting a license. Also, there’re cameras in every single corner of almost every street in Beijing, and people not only get fined but also get their credits/points deducted if they violate any rules. (You have a number of points every year; once you get to zero, you’ll have to go on a pretty intensive education course.) People can also get into real trouble (i.e. be put into the jail) if they drunk drive. And etc.