Latest News:  

English>>China Society

Drivers' deaths arouse concerns over working conditions


08:15, March 25, 2013

YINCHUAN, March 24 (Xinhua) -- The deaths of two drivers who managed to ensure the safety of their passengers while falling ill at the wheel has triggered concern over the health of those who work under pressure.

Chen Xueping, a taxi driver in the capital city of Yinchuan in northwest China's Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, had a heart attack while driving a passenger on Friday evening.

The incident came after Song Yang, a 34-year-old highway transport company driver in east China's Shandong Province, suffered a sudden brain hemorrhage while driving a long-distance bus carrying 33 passengers.

In the case of Chen, passenger Niu Tao recalled, "He first went into spasm, and I saw him gasping painfully. Then he collapsed at the wheel after pulling over by the roadside."

Niu called the emergency center. But Chen died in hospital after rescue efforts failed.

"It could have been me lying in the hospital if it were not because of his handling of the situation," Niu said.

Internet user, "Fanfanmo," who was at the scene, posted what Chen did on Sina Weibo, a Twitter-like microblogging service in China. The post was forwarded thousands of times.

"The whole city [of Yinchuan] will remember him," said Weibo user, "Lichade."

Chen's wife Wang Ruiling said they began driving taxis 10 years ago. The couple took it in turns working day and night to feed their family of four.

Yu Jiyong, a traffic management official in Yinchuan, said excessive work among taxi drivers is quite common.

"I dare not have a rest even if I am sick with a cold or fever," said taxi driver Zhang Jun. He said he had to pay more than 200 yuan (31.7 U.S. dollars) a day to Yinchuan Guotai Taxi Company, the firm Chen worked for.

In most cities, taxis are owned by companies that subcontract vehicles to drivers, who have to pay a sum of money to the firm. Many taxi drivers complain that the fee is too high and they have to work too long, sometimes 10 to 12 hours a day, just to make a profit.

In the case of Song, he managed to slow down and park along the highway's breakdown lane. He then tried his best to use the handbrake and turn on his hazard lights.

After being in a coma for 11 days, the bus driver died on Wednesday.

Both Chen and Song's stories went viral on the Internet.

While netizens are mourning them, they also point out that drivers are facing the pressure of a heavy workload and low income, and therefore taking insufficient care of their own health.

Some netizens suggested health checkups for professional drivers should be made compulsory to ensure the safety of both passengers and workers.

Chen's company, Yinchuan Guotai, has more than 600 drivers. Wang Yonghong, deputy manager, said his firm offers free checkups for drivers every year, but few take them because they are too busy.

"Without related regulations, we have no way to force them to receive health checkups," Wang said.

We Recommend:

China's weekly story (2013.3.9-3.15)

Painting a tattoo on body with your own style

Modern life of Chinese elderly

Young & confident: 'We want to fly'

Brave young mother in the 4th year of university

China cities put on spring style

What house can you buy with 1m yuan?

Seeking a dream wedding at Beijing Wedding Expo

Girls who live like boys, play like boys

Email|Print|Comments(Editor:WangLili、Chen Lidan)

Leave your comment0 comments

  1. Name


Selections for you

  1. World Water Day

  2. Police dog in Nanning

  3. World's top ten magnificent natural spectacles

  4. Hailstorms affect 838,000 people

  5. Agriculture Carnival held in Beijing

  6. Pandas sent off for the cameras

  7. Peach Flower Cultural Tourism Festival

  8. Beckham plays football with young players

  9. Online business for selling Taobao goods

  10. Weekend trunk market held in Chongqing

Most Popular


  1. Opportunities, not threats
  2. Iraq War tenth anniversary gives us revelations
  3. Richer parents, more fashionable children
  4. Hopes for Obama's trip
  5. Commentary: To pivot to Asia or peace?
  6. Lavish behavior punished
  7. Migration part of global development
  8. CCTV in hot water after corporate exposé backfires
  9. Cultural parks no substitute for talent
  10. Planning vital to diplomacy

What’s happening in China

Now you can use mobile phone to 'call' the dead

  1. Five-year jail term for 'homicidal thief' girlfriend
  2. Marine forecasting initiated in China's Sansha City
  3. Funeral held for famous Chinese village chief
  4. Zoo pleads innocence for panda abuse
  5. 8,000 fined for jaywalking in E China