A retired teacher has become an Internet sensation after he lobbed dozens of bricks at cars that ran a red light at an intersection in Lanzhou, Gansu province.
“I just want to catch people’s attention and tell the drivers to think of pedestrians,” the 74-year-old man told Lanzhou Morning Post on Saturday.
Many residents in the community applauded his behavior and two elderly men joined the former teacher, while others found them more bricks and brought them water.
More than 30 cars were damaged during last Thursday’s incident, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The elderly man, whose name is unknown, has attracted a lot of attention online, with nearly 400,000 netizens responding to a Sina. com poll. Nearly 80 percent said they supported his actions.
A netizen called Biyuding20008 said too many drivers do not follow traffic rules like stopping at red lights and not talking on phones while driving.
The man became a crusader for road safety after a female pedestrian was killed in his community last year.
He successfully lobbied the local police for traffic lights at the intersection. He said motorists still go through the red light when they want to turn.
“Even when the light is green, drivers just ignore it and don’t slow down for pedestrians,” the man told the paper.
In order to punish drivers and draw attention to poor driving habits, the man planned to throw bricks at all cars that ran red lights for one week, starting last Thursday, but police stopped him on the first night. The man was interviewed and later released without charge.
The man said he knew his behavior was illegal but he had tried all he could and it did not help. Among netizens that responded to the Sina poll, yjz12 said people like this former teacher save lives.
But other netizens thought the behavior extreme. Luting1314 said the police should do more to safeguard citizens’ safety.
Guo Shouan, director of Qilihe traffic police department in Lanzhou, told the Post it will put traffic police on duty at night and apply for cameras to be installed to safeguard the residents.
Last year, 73,484 people died in car accidents, according to statistics from the Ministry of Public Security.