Galvanise pedestrian safety and put a tighter leash on children

By Gabrielle Pickard
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, October 20, 2011
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A case in Orlando, which has ranked first in previous pedestrian fatality survey, where a mother was sentenced to prison for homicide after her four-year-old son got off a bus, ran across a road and was killed by a car, highlights some important but decidedly unreported points in the Fashan hit and run case. With everyone being so 'preoccupied' in blaming the 'material interests' of the passer-by's, for, as our columnist Yue Yue puts it, "treating [the toddler] as an inconvenient lump of trash", nobody has pinned any blame on the little girl's parents.

Being a mother of two young sons myself, I know how daunting and stressful taking my boys shopping, particularly in busy markets, can be. I make sure that I keep hold of their hands at all times to prevent them from running off. Without putting a similar 'tight leash' on their daughter, two-year-old Wang Yue was able to walk alone into a road. No blame has been targeted at what I believe to be an irresponsible mistake made by Wang Yue's parents.

The other point the Orlando case highlights is the fact that in the wake of the incident there has been a heavy focus on galvanised pedestrian safety groups in Orlando.

David Goldberg, communications director for Transportation for America, sensibly said that because the "blame-the-victim mentality is common; we don't stop and examine how highway planning and land-use planning can contribute to this."

Instead of the world taking the 'moral high ground' and announcing it is China's rush to riches that can be accountable for the "cold-hearted pedestrians", we should learn from this tragic and disturbing case. Not only should parents across the world keep a better eye over their young children, but councils, particularly in busy cities, should make more of a concerted effort to galvanise pedestrian safety.

The author is a columnist with For more information please visit:

Opinion articles reflect the views of their authors, not necessarily those of


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