An unlicensed driver was charged with a traffic accident for causing the death of a pedestrian with her electric rickshaw at Wenchang Lu last weekend, according to the West China City Daily.
Lei Cairong, 53, is the first to be arrested following the notice of tighter controls for such rickshaws by the Chengdu Traffic Police, reported the Sichuan News Website.
The notice, released on 17 January 2011, states that vehicles that have not been issued a license plate are not allowed on the roads. Similarly, unlicensed drivers are to stay off the roads.
Lei, who violated both rules, claimed that she had bought the electric sanlunche to ferry her elderly parents to and fro the hospital.
At about 2:35pm on Saturday, she was driving along Wenchang Lu, getting to Wuhou Dadao from Jichang Lu.
"The traffic was quite heavy, so I kept to the side," she recalled.
Suddenly, a force from behind caused her to swerve to the right, hitting a pedestrian surnamed Wang. He lost his balance and fell onto the ground, with the back of his head crashing onto the stone pavement along the road.
When she alighted to check on Wang, he was unconscious and bleeding at the ears and the back of his head. Some onlookers called the police and ambulance immediately. He had stopped breathing by the time the paramedics arrived.
"I know what I was doing is illegal. I was intending to sell the sanlunche, but I haven't managed to so far," said Lei.
Despite strict measures, unlicensed driving and unregistered rickshaws are commonplace, said the traffic police. The authorities would like to issue a stern reminder to those engaging in such illegal activities as they will be dealt with severely.
According to the Sichuan News website, Lei, who became a grandmother recently, is the sole breadwinner in her family of eight. She borrowed two million yuan [EDIT: correction: RMB20,000] from relatives and friends to pass to Wang's family. He is said to be 56 and comes from Chuxiong, Yunnan.