Chengdu City, located in the province of spicy province of Sichuan, recently became host to one of the biggest hands-on taxi demolition derbies the East coast of China has been privileged to witness yet. And it was a well-deserved bashing.
Tired of dealing with illegal, dangerous taxis and the complaining passengers who suffered from their services, the Municipal Committee of Communication in Chengdu took punishment to a new level, collecting 140 unlicensed passenger vehicles (including 73 knock-off taxicabs, and 67 illegal vehicle) into one parking lot and inviting nearly 50 taxi drivers to come in and smash the cars to pieces.
In recent years, Chengdu has seen a growing problem with illegal taxicabs in the city. Many drivers have complained that their license and cab numbers have been copied and used by other cars on the streets. One many at the demolition, Liu Yang, commented on his experience with a copy-cat driver, saying to a local reporter, “These wild cabs cheat people on purpose, they are our enemies.” When Liu’s license number was taken, he found himself ticketed several times for actions he did not commit, including dumping passengers on the side of the road. Then, just one month ago, a co-worker of Liu found the clone cab. Together with 30 other drivers, Liu went after the illegal cab and backed it into a corner, eventually forcing the driver to turn the car over to the Municipal Committee of Communications.
Officials at the Municipal Committee have commented in the past on the physical danger of these cars as well. It’s said that many of them are made from scrap parts that have been greatly worn down. Despite the fact that these cars may appear new-looking when on the streets, they pose a great threat to the traffic routes of Chengdu.
Drivers who were caught dealing in the industry of illegal taxicabs were forced to turn over their fake licenses and cars. However, many of them failed to come forward to accept punishment. This absence of responsibility, in turn, forced the Municipal Committee of Communications to take their own choice of action – hence the taxicab demolition.
As soon as the legitimate – and legitimately angry – taxidrivers arrived on the scene, a local officer announced, “Let’s do this”, and the men began smashing. Liu Yang, with the use of a metal rod, destroyed four cars alone by hand, laughing when looking at the ruined remains. The men ripped through the cars throughout the afternoon before letting a bulldozer come in to destroy the rest of the illegal taxicabs.
Many people see revenge as immature and unnecessary. I, however, applaud the taxidrivers in Chengdu, and prefer to see things through the eyes of Alfred Hitchcock when I think about a case like this…
“Revenge is sweet and not fattening.”