This has got to make you feel good. After an elderly cyclist accidentally got run over by a bus, dozens of onlookers rushed to try and get the man out.
Can this many people lift up a bus?
No. But they tried. And in China, that’s saying a lot. China lacks Good Samaritan laws, although a few cities like Shanghai are trying to implement them. Those are laws that protect people who try to help someone in need, so they can’t get sued or sent to prison if for some reason the person they’re trying to help doesn’t make it.
The absence of Good Samaritan culture has led to some tragedies. A few weeks ago, a woman was run over while crossing an intersection. The car didn’t stop. Neither did any of the passersby. Then she was hit again and crushed.
A similar thing happened to a two year old girl in 2011.
Part of the problem is Pengci (碰瓷). They’re people who throw themselves in front of cars to try and make some money from the drivers.
Many trace people’s fear of getting involved to a 2006 case in Nanjing. A guy named Peng Yu helped an injured woman to the hospital after she fell of a bus. She sued him for $7,000 in medical expenses and won because the judge reasoned that, why would you help someone unless you were responsible? That story went viral, leaving many afraid of what might happen to them if they help their fellow citizens. And get this: Years later, it turned out that Peng Yu actually did knock the woman down, and solicited the media to portray him as a martyred Good Samaritan. Wonderful.