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Originally posted by tippingpoint at 2011-10-26 05:40
1) A road accident relief fund. The vast majority of road accidents involve motor vehicles of one sort or another, and although only a minority of people own a car, everyone is at some risk of being killed by one.
First, thanks to Tippingpoint for making the effort to give us something serious to think about on CDBBS forum in the aftermath of Yue Yue's unfortunate tragedy. I have to say that I did not carefully read your entire article earlier, but I do agree with some of your points. To bump this good thread :), I would like to go through your suggestion on the road accident relief fund.
For the above, a very good point raised on what a road accident can result in.
I therefore propose that each city or other jurisdiction with the power to grant vehicle licenses should collect, by means of a motor vehicle tax, a fund to cover the cost of all medical treatment, both emergency and long term, required by people injured on the nation's roads.
I think this is a good way of raising fund but it must serve a purpose. As Mr Expatter said there is mandatory vehicle insurance in place to cover accidents and compensation. So, what would be the purpose of this relief fund of yours be? In my country, all vehicle owners are required to pay a COE (Certificate of Entitlement) on top of the cost of the motor vehicle. The reason why we had this system is because we want to limit the number of cars on the road.
If your relief fund is to insure all road users that they would be guaranteed some kind of medical relief or medical compensation, it could back-fire. First, it isn't fair to all motorists who are already paying for their motor insurance. Second, it might encourage or suggest to road users (i.e. pedestrians) that they have a right to compensation whatever happens to them on the road. This might encourage irresponsible behaviour and profiteering. What would be the chance of turning this relief fund to benefit individual's gain/greed instead of helping them ?
Based on what I sense of the situation in China, it is the motorists' fear -- high compensation from accident victims, which is causing so much problems.
This would remove the apprehensions arising from pecuniary considerations that are currently the cause of so much hesitation in bystanders who should be rushing to victims' assistance.
As per what I said earlier, the relief fund will encourage people to exploit and seek compensation easily.
............ actually, if I compare the situation in my country, it would NEVER be the pecuniary considerations that pull anyone back from helping an accident victim. In short, the question of pecuniary considerations would never arise for the helper or the injured person in a road accident if this happens in my country. My question is WHY IS PECUNIARY CONSIDERATION an issue in China's situation?
Have you created an environment where this is encouraged ? This is something which I don't understand.
When somebody is bleeding by the side of the road, it is an absurd cruelty at such a time to have to entertain any thoughts of how much their treatment will cost, and who will pay. Some accidents are nobody's fault, so it is not helpful or reasonable for the victim or their supporters to waste any time looking for someone to blame, so that they can be forced to pay. And in situations where a certain party is clearly to blame, all criminal proceedings or civil claims for compensation can proceed as normal, after surviving victims have been restored to health. Hospitals and ambulances should simply open their doors to road accident victims, and the cost of their treatment shared equitably between vehicle license-holders across the jurisdiction.
Agree with what you said; but I see this as a very NORMAL thing to do under the circumstances.
No driver can ever guarantee that they won't be involved in an accident in which other people are badly hurt, so this provision would act as a kind of collective insurance policy for drivers, as much as for pedestrians and cyclists, against their obligations in such unfortunate events.
Agree with you that accidents are sometimes beyond anyone's control. As for the proposed relief fund, I think that can be considered if the situation is unique in China. Nonetheless, it should be carefully implemented to ensure that it does not encourage people to exploit it for their own personal gains. At the same time, consideration should also be given to the car owners. Not all car owners (for simplicity, they should be inclusive of other forms of motor vehicles) will get involved in road accidents if they are careful and conscientious drivers. Not all car owners are necessarily wealthy people as a car may be an essential for their occupation. Compelling their contributions to the fund relief on top of their insurance coverage may result in penalising these drivers.
My view is that there is a strong LACK OF EDUCATION on the use of roads, traffic rules and moral duty on the part of both the drivers and the pedestrians in China.
I could be wrong but I would like to think that this is because the system in China is immature. While the people (whether the drivers or the pedestrians) are exposed to the development and modernization in China, there is a strong LACK OF EDUCATION AND LACK OF KNOWLEDGE on what being a modernized and developed country that China aspires entails. It is like, suddenly China opens her doors to an influx of cars and modern gadgets. Her people learned quickly how to get behind the wheels and whizz around the streets but FORGOT that the gadgets can be turned into a killing machine if they lose control, and that they have a MORAL DUTY to tolerate other users and ensure the safety of all co-users of the road, and not be reckless. The pedestrians or non-car owners were also not educated on the dangers of these gadgets and being on the roads. When trouble happens, the drivers and their victims turn to HATRED and BLAME on each other ......................... each getting at the other's throat ............... which should not be the situation at all !
Those are my views. I will come to the next proposal of yours when I have more time. :)
Cheers and thank you !
[ Last edited by whampoa at 2011-10-30 01:46 AM ]