Driver sorry for throwing foreign woman's bike

(China Daily)
Updated: 2006-11-16 07:14

A Beijing driver who infamously threw aside the bicycle of a foreign woman who had blocked his way has apologized to her on television.

The driver, surnamed Niu, apologized in response to a barrage of criticism after photographs of the incident were plastered on the Internet.

The foreigner stationed her bike in front of the sedan pulled out into the bicycle in a Beijing street on October 20, 2006. [Nanfang Daily]
"I must say sorry to the foreign lady. I acted too rashly at that time. I shouldn't have thrown her bicycle to the ground," Niu said on a popular Beijing TV programme.

The incident ocurred after the woman confronted Niu, assuming he had been driving in a bicycles-only lane. Niu said had not violated any traffic rules. Traffic police testified that he had been driving on a road of mixed traffic, open to both cars and bicycles.

The incident had hurt him and his family greatly, said Niu, noting he had changed his home phone number.

Internet users had bombarded him with phone calls denouncing his behaviour of October 20.

Many websites carried photos of the incident. A foreign woman stands in front of a car, her finger pointing to the centre of the road. The driver, infuriated, gets out of the car, grabs the woman's bicycle and throws it to the ground.

The pictures were uploaded on October 20 and spread to other websites, sparking an outpouring of sympathy for the foreigner and denouncements of the driver.

"All netizens please help find the identities of the driver and the foreign lady," said one posting.

The much-read posting, written by popular blogger Mo Jie, also called on netizens to denounce the driver.

"We must get him to realize that his behaviour is smearing the country's image and the face of Beijing," said the posting.

Netizens quickly answered the calls to name the driver, posting his home phone number and other personal information on the Internet.

Some netizens said the foreign woman worked for an American company near the scene, but no further information about her was revealed.

"The incident shows two things," says one of the blog articles. "It shows the Chinese are self-reflecting people and readily accept positive criticism. It also shows the terrifying power of the Internet, its power to mobilize people and bare secrets."

Top China News  
Today's Top News  
Most Commented/Read Stories in 48 Hours