The Curious Case of Peng Yu from Nanjing (南京彭宇案) and China Society
The world seethes with rage over the recent incident in China whereby a two-year-old girl was ran over by two vans and ignored by 18 bystanders.
The horrific ordeal was captured on camera. I won’t be posting the video on my blog because of its gruesome nature, but you can watch it on Chinasmack.com or read the summary below:
October 13th afternoon around 5:30, a car accident occurred at the Guangfo Hardware Market in Huangqi of Foshan. A van hit a 2-year-old little girl and then fled. No passersby reached out to help and then another car ran over her. Over the span of 7 minutes, a total of 17 people passing by failed to extend a hand or call the police, up until the 19th person, a garbage scavenger ayi [older woman], who lifted her up after discovering her but the little girl in her arms was like a noodle, immediately collapsing back onto the ground. The trash scavenger ayi called for help, and the little girl’s mother, who was in the vicinity, immediately rushed over and rushed her to the hospital.
Why did the mainland Chinese behave this way?
This is not the first case of a Chinese driver deliberately killing an accident victim after hitting the person with a vehicle.
It all steams from peculiar accident laws in China. If you knock into someone and did not kill the person, the state will make you responsible for the person’s health care costs for the rest of his or her life. If you kill the person upon impact, you actually pay a flat fee that might be substantially less. Casting moral values aside, the pragmatic decision is to make sure you kill a victim if you are involved in a traffic accident.
Also, there’s the curious 2006 case of Peng Yu from Nanjing (南京彭宇案). Peng Yu helped a woman to the hospital after she had fallen, only to have the old woman accuse him of knocking her down. A Nanjing judge ultimately ruled that common sense dictated only the person who hit the victim would take her to the hospital, setting a precedent that continues to further discourages and reinforces many Chinese people’s wariness to help others in similar situations.
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With a warped legal system like this and peculiar accident compensation laws, who would dare to stand out and help others?
This unfortunate incident of two-year-old Yue Yue has brought shame to China on the global arena. The news has been reported through many international media channels. Hopefully, Yue Yue’s sacrifice will not be in vain, but will propel the Chinese authorities to seriously reconsider their traffic laws.