CAN I TAKE YOU HOME?


CAN I TAKE YOU HOME?

 

One evening several years ago, after a get-together at a restaurant, one of my friends asked me, "Shengliver, can I take you home in my car?”

 

Looking at his red face, I realised that he was drunk. He had drunk too much and he, my friend, was offering to drive me home. Should I accept his offer, my dear readers?

 

The other day, a traffic accident happened in my city, leaving five dead and two injured. The driver was driving from downtown to Mt Wudang. In his car was his girlfriend. He was drunk. And he had not obtained his driving license yet. While the car was speeding ahead, the driver was so much under the influence that he fell asleep at the wheel. The next moment, his car veered off the road and crashed into a crowded street market. Four vegetable vendors were knocked dead instantly on the scene. Another was rushed to hospital and died there later.

 

Last weekend, my wife went to a satellite county town for a reunion party with her ex-classmates. It was a happy occasion. At such reunion parties, it is hard to decline the drinks your friends try to persuade you to have. My wife did not drink, of course. The trouble was that she took a van with some of her friends. The driver of the van was one of the friends. He was drunk and he was merry and talkative. All the way the driver was chatting when they came to a curve in the road. Horns were not blown and crash! The van kissed a lorry coming from the opposite direction. No one was killed but the driver and the front-seat passenger were hospitalised. The other passengers ended up with either bruises or injuries. My dear wife came back with a black eye, which shocked my daughter and me.

 

My dear readers, learn to say no to a driver who is drunk. Do not take a car whose driver is drunk. Stop a family member or friend from taking the wheel when he is drunk. That evening several years ago, when my drunken friend offered me a ride, I refused him, though feeling that I might have offended him in so doing. Now, if another drunken driver says, “Shengliver, will you take a ride in my car?” I will flatly turn him down. I would rather lose a friend than risk my life.

 

DRIVERS, BE RESPONSIBLE!

 

The number of cars, especially private cars, is increasing very fast in China. Chinese roads are becoming more dangerous because of the inexperienced and/or irresponsible drivers.

 

I am not a driver and I know little about driving and cars. But I have observed the following irresponsible behaviours among some Chinese drivers.

 

DRUNK DRIVING

 

Drunk driving is extremely common on the weekend and around Chinese festivals. Drinking is a standard ritual of Chinese dinner parties. After eating and drinking, some people still drive. These people are a time bomb not only to themselves but also to others.

 

HAZARDING PEDESTRIANS

 

The majority of Chinese drivers do not slow down and give precedence to the pedestrians at zebra crossings. I cross a road several times a day to and from work. I try to walk across on the zebra crossing but the drivers are oblivious of me. The truth is that few pedestrians will take zebra crossings when they cross a road since no drivers are willing to follow the rule. And the result is jaywalking and more disorder.

 

USING A MOBILE PHONE WHILE DRIVING

 

I see with my own eyes that some drivers are on their mobile phone while their vehicle is fast on the move. Can this practice possibly cause an accident? Yes, of course.

 

CHATTING WHILE DRIVING

 

Chatting with the driver seems to be unavoidable when family and friends are sharing the same vehicle. But driving takes concentration. Lack of concentration is the cause of most accidents.

 

PARKING AT THE WRONG PLACE

 

There are not enough parking lots for the increasing numbers of cars. Communities built in the last century did not take into account the need for parking and newly-built communities still find their parking space inadequate for the number of cars. Consequently, many car owners park their car in spaces reserved for public use. It is a common sight that cars are parked on sidewalks and on the community walk where I live and work.

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