A newly licensed driver in China was caught on CCTV driving his car off a bridge and into the river. His car stayed afloat long enough for him to be rescued and pulled to safety.
The man, identified as only Mr. Zhang, had passed his driving test just 10 minutes prior.
Zhang was on a very narrow bridge and texting his friends about his new license when he noticed two people walking along the same bridge. He panicked and jolted to the left, careening off the bridge and into the river below.
“I had only put on my new plate and driven for some 10 minutes when I crashed,” Zhang told NDTV.
After kicking the door open and calling for help, Zhang got away from the accident pretty well — only suffering a dislocated shoulder.
Zhang did not mention to any outlets whether he was issued a violation by police. The punishment in China for texting while driving is paying the equivalent of a $25 fine and being deducted two license points (drivers start with 12 points and then can have their license suspended if they lose all of them).
China has started cracking down on drivers’ tech usage following a fatal car accident in April 2019 where the driver was discovered to have used her phone 34 times in 30 minutes before crashing. People are 2.8 times more likely to have an accident if they’re talking on the phone and 23 times more likely to crash if they look at their handset.
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