Last week, a 15-year-old student was tragically killed in a traffic accident in Tsz Wan Shan while on her way to school. A minibus knocked her down outside her school. She was pinned under the right front wheel of the minibus and had severe injuries to her head. The word “pinned” used this way means held or stuck firmly and unable to move. Police arrested the driver for dangerous driving causing death. Police are still investigating the accident so I won’t pass judgment on whether the student or the driver should be blamed. There are two ways to use the expression “pass judgment”. When a judge makes a decision on a legal matter, he is passing judgment on the matter. When you criticize someone or express a very strong opinion on something, you are also passing judgment.
Although I won’t pass judgment on the tragic death of the young student, I want to point out there were more than 16,000 traffic accidents in Hong Kong last year which caused the deaths of 132 people. Drivers in Hong Kong are becoming more and more reckless. If you are reckless, it means you don’t care about the dangers you cause by your actions. Hong Kong drivers always demand the right of way, even at pedestrian crossings without traffic lights. The right of way means the legal right to go first across the road. In the US, where I lived for many years, pedestrians had the right of way. Drivers in the US are required to drive very slowly and carefully near schools.
I have passed judgment on the Transport Department before and I’ll do so again. The idiots at this department care more about vehicles than pedestrians. The green light for pedestrians to cross busy roads lasts for only a few seconds but the green light for vehicles lasts much longer. Pedestrians get impatient and cross roads even when they have a red light. This causes accidents. The Transport Department should share the blame for many of the traffic accident deaths in Hong Kong. There will be more deaths unless the idiots at the department care more about pedestrians than vehicles.
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上星期，一名十五歲學生在慈雲山上學途中，不幸於一宗交通意外中身亡。在學校外不遠處，一架小巴將她撞倒，她被壓（pinned）在小巴的右前輪下，頭部遭受嚴重的創傷。Pinned在這裏是解作被緊緊按着或困住，不能動彈。警方以危險駕駛引致他人死亡的罪名拘捕了司機。警方仍在調查事件之中，因此我不會判斷（pass judgment）到底是學生還是司機的過錯。習語pass judgment有兩種用法：若法官就着一宗法律案件下判決，那他就在passing judgment on the matter；若你批評某人，或者對某事有一個很強的判斷，那你也在passing judgment。
雖然我不會就年輕學生不幸身亡的事件妄下判斷（pass judgment），但我想指出，上年全港有超過一萬六千宗交通意外，當中有132人死亡。香港的司機變得愈來愈鹵莽（reckless）。若你是reckless的，即是說你不顧後果，罔顧當中的危險。香港的司機總是要求有the right of way，即使在沒有交通燈號的斑馬線。The right of way就是道路的優先使用權。我在美國居住多年，行人都有道路的先行權（right of way），美國的司機在校園附近都必須減速，特別小心地駕駛。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧