Whenever cars hit pedestrians, it is bad news. In California where I live, there is a problem with people fleeing the scene of an accident to avoid prosecution (sometimes because they have been drinking). That is frustrating.
But in China, a different layer of evil has grown up around this situation. When a driver hits a pedestrian on the road, evidently many of them deliberately hit the person a second time to make sure they do not survive. The thinking seems to be, it is better for the driver if the person is dead than if they are only injured. A handful of these incidents have even been caught on video.
Why does this happen? Drivers do this because of several perverse laws in that country. First, it is considerably cheaper to face a lawsuit for killing someone than for simply injuring them. Simply maiming someone is expensive. Second, it is very unlikely that you will be convicted for murder if you do this. What a tragedy.
Those with cars in China are often the rich, and this is an example of the laws protecting the money of the powerful above the lives of the rest. Whether or not these laws were intended to do this is a separate question. This is the effect. And given China’s track record on protecting the common person, it is not surprising.
This whole story is stranger than fiction and sounds like some kind of B-rated dystopian novel.
“Double-hit cases” have been around for decades. I first heard of the “hit-to-kill” phenomenon in Taiwan in the mid-1990s when I was working there as an English teacher. A fellow teacher would drive us to classes. After one near-miss of a motorcyclist, he said, “If I hit someone, I’ll hit him again and make sure he’s dead.” Enjoying my shock, he explained that in Taiwan, if you cripple a man, you pay for the injured person’s care for a lifetime. But if you kill the person, you “only have to pay once, like a burial fee.” He insisted he was serious—and that this was common.”