A family gets off their car in the park.
A guard is posted every 20 to 50 meters. The guards are so positioned that they can see each other despite the vegetation and manmade structures around. They are required to keep a close watch on the road and trained to act instantly to prevent any untoward event.
The guards are not deployed to protect a VVIP, though. Their job is to prevent visitors to the Beijing Wildlife Park in Daxing district from getting off their cars (which violates rules) .
Yet on Sunday, some visitors to the park photographed members of a family getting off their car, not once but twice inside the park. Witnesses say the family included at least one couple, a senior citizen and two children. At the intervention of the guards, they got back into the car but only to get off again and being forced to get into their car a second time.
Although the park announced on Monday that it can protect visitors from any attack because the animals are segregated, the family's move was still dangerous as the security system is not 100 percent foolproof. What's worse, they invited dangers as visitors were banned from getting off cars on roads for fear of traffic accidents.
The incident sparked fierce discussions online, and many netizens compared it to two previous incidents. On July 23 last year, a woman surnamed Zhao who got off her car in the Badaling Wildlife Park was dragged away by a tiger. She was mauled and seriously injured by the tiger, and her mother died trying to save her.
On Jan 19 this year, a man climbed over a wall to enter the tigers' enclave in Youngor Zoo in Ningbo, East China's Zhejiang province. The man was killed by the tigers, and one of the tigers was shot dead during the operation to rescue him.
In the previous two tragedies, many people surprisingly didn't show sympathy for the rule-breakers. And those netizens that criticized the rule-breakers saying the rule-breakers deserve to be punished sparked heated debates. It's time, however, that Chinese people kept in mind the importance of obeying rules.
What many people forget is the fact that rule-breakers are an unnecessary burden on society. To prevent people from repeating the fatal mistakes of the visitors of some visitors, the wildlife park has to post innumerable guards along the roads, which in turn increases the price of tickets. In other words, ordinary visitors have to pay for the wrongdoings of a few rule-breakers.
In fact, many administrative moves are necessitated to prevent a few from breaking rules. Most people pay for the metro rides they take. Still, everyone has to go through ticket-checking machines because a few do not pay the fare. This means all passengers have to pay for the ticket-checking machines just because some commuters break the rules.
After the Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing started providing free tissue papers in its public toilets a week ago, some media reports said some visitors were seen taking large numbers of tissue papers. To deal with the problem, the park installed a machine in all the toilets inside the park over the weekend, and everyone has to pass a video test to get a certain number of tissue papers. Even in this case, rule-breakers, who are few in number, have increased the financial and social cost for all.
Only when the related authorities devise a mechanism to compel the rule-breakers to pay for the increase in maintenance and security costs can they help people better understand the importance of obeying rules.
The author Zhang Zhouxiang is a writer with China Daily