The video of a fatal traffic accident that happened in Tongzhou district, Beijing, on Oct 17, has gone viral. It shows a car illegally changed lane at a crossroad in an attempt to run a red light, and a heavy truck loaded with rubble swerved to avoid colliding with it. In doing so, the truck turned over on its side crushing a taxi that was waiting for a green light. The taxi driver died. Southern Metropolis Daily comments:
The car that changed lane broke the law. The truck broke the law, as well, because it too was driving fast and had no intention of stopping for the red light. A longer version of the video shows that another car ran a red light seconds before them.
Yet all three law-breaking drivers survived, and the taxi driver, the only person in the video who obeyed the law, died. Worse, the police have failed to track down the driver of the car who changed lane in violation of the traffic rules and fled the scene.
The case has aroused fierce discussion online because it is obviously unfair that the lawbreakers survived while the law-abiding driver died. Many even proposed that next time in such conditions, the truck driver should hit the rule-breaking car, instead of trying to avoid a collision with it. That proposal is arguable, but at least it shows the common sense that those obeying the rules should not pay for those who break them.
There used to be a time when people often ignored the laws, but with the progress of society, people are gaining the awareness that they should abide by them; as they are there for a purpose.
Yet the enforcement of the laws still needs strengthening as there are still those who choose to break them. For example, the punishment of those causing traffic accidents that lead to other people's deaths is arguably quite light. Besides, the tragedy in Tongzhou shows the fact that some people might benefit by breaking the rules while some people obeying the law might suffer.
It is time we improved our rule of law, so that those obeying the rules benefit, while those breaking them face deserved punishment.