Three die in Beijing taxi crash

Updated: 2014-08-25 07:00

By Luo Wangshu(China Daily)

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A cabdriver and two passengers were killed on Sunday morning in Beijing when a taxi crashed into a tree.

Multiple local newspapers reported that the taxi hit the tree on the Third Ring Road at 6 am, killing the three people in the cab instantly.

According to Beijing Times, the driver who was killed might have been working round-the-clock and the accident was the result of driver fatigue.

The claim was not confirmed by authorities. Beijing police did not respond to China Daily's interview request on Sunday.

According to accident photos provided by Beijing Times, the taxi belonged to Beijing Yuyang Taxi Group. The company's phone was not connected on Sunday.

Taxi drivers are known for working long hours.

Li Xiaosong, spokesman for the Beijing Commission of Transport, told Beijing Evening News last year that the average workday of Beijing cabdrivers is nine hours, excluding eating or resting.

The daily working hours may be more than 12 hours, including eating and breaks, the paper said.

Fang Weidong has been driving a taxi for 20 years in Beijing and needs to work 10 to 12 hours a day. He only gets one day off a week - and even that is rare for taxi drivers.

"Very few taxi drivers are willing to take days off like me," Fang told China Daily, adding that he used to work even longer hours to earn more money.

The average monthly take-home pay of Beijing cabdrivers, after paying cab companies for the car each month, was 4,678 yuan ($760) last year, 6 yuan above the capital's average monthly income.

In the capital, drivers pay cab companies 5,175 yuan a month for the car.

"We wake up owing the company more than 100 yuan each day. More rests mean more money," Fang said, adding that cabdrivers have no paid vacations.

Fang used to drive 24 hours a day when he was young.

"It is hard to focus, especially at night when the traffic is good with a high speed," Fang said, adding that he once hit a building under construction and hurt his hands while driving when he was tired.

"I had to take two months' break with no income and still needed to pay the rental cost," Fang said.

Three die in Beijing taxi crash

Police officers inspect a taxi on Sunday morning in Beijing after it crashed into a tree along the Third Ring Road at about 6 am, causing the deaths of the driver and two passengers. Zhao Siheng / for China Daily