11 June 2005

Traffic In My Part of Ch1na

I was in the car heading back from the office when I passed by a traffic accident scene. I could tell that it only just happened by counting the number of people in the onlooker crowd. Not many.... yet. There was only 1 policeman who had the luck of being at the right place, at the right time, there calling for backup.

As we drove up, we could see 4 casualties sprawling on the road up close. They were all knocked down by the errant bus which also had a motorcycle crushed underneath it. I really hope that the bike rider was among the 4 casualties in front. Alas, none of the 4 was wearing a helmet. This would be about the time for you to start expecting the worst case scenario. Then again, there was no pool of blood from under the bus.

I had my Lumix with me and it could have been the perfect photo opportunity for me ala Ah 9. The sensational pictures would definitely draw the interest of the folks out there to my blog. Hits spike, here I come! Alas, I didn't have the nerve to press the shutter. I just couldn't do it.

But you know what? This is nothing new to me as I witness, on average, about 1 traffic accident per day here in my part of Ch1na. I am more or less immune to it already. There was also another accident scene, which I vividly still remember, when I was in Vietnam last year, where there was this dead guy about 30m away from his bike with his pants and underwear down to his ankles. He had slided along the road, as a result of the impact, for the whole 30m that he became naked from waist down. I really hate to be the one to have to turn the body over. Ouch.

I got my Ch1na's driver's license 2 years ago and had to sit for the mandatory "Road Safety" talk before they issued the license to me. During the talk, I learned that the number of traffic fatalities* in the province of GuangDong alone is 120,000 per year.

* The number counts only fatalies within 7 days of the accident i.e. if the person died on the 8th day after the accident, he is not part of the statistic. As such, the number should be far greater.

Over here, we used to joke that the traffic lights were for "reference only". Such is the awareness of road safety in this part of Ch1na.

I can only hope that with the people here gradually become more educated that such number of tragedies would significantly be decreased. I hope for the day to come soon.

- Voxeros

1. barffie left...
Wednesday, 15 June 2005 10:57 am
This is awful. Road accidents. Yet people still cross the roads like nobody's business. :( And really, the Indians in Serangoon Road are horrible pedestrians also.
2. JayWalk left...
Wednesday, 15 June 2005 11:43 am :: 
At least in Serangoon Road, the errant pedestrians would siam to one side when you honk them. 

Not here for they are all immune to the honking. I am so tempted to get one of those pneumatic air-horns (used by the container-trucks) and fixed it to my car. 

At least, I would know that after honking them, they really are deaf. muahahahaa....

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