Attentions on road safety 1 year after student killed in car accident

Updated: 2013-04-11 09:11

By Susanna Ma (

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The digital campaign "Red Scarf Safety Month" has been launched on social media websites to remind Chinese students' the importance of road safety.

The event is initiated by Red Scarf, a celebrity Sino Weibo account; and jointly organized by the Chinese embassy in the UK.

It has been one year since a Chinese student was killed in a car accident in Birmingham. Pauline Guo, founder of Red Scarf Weibo account, says she hopes the same tragedy would never happen again.

April 4th, 2012, Chinese overseas student Zhang Xuanwei was stuck by an unmarked speeding police car when he was crossing street outside a shopping center. The 24-year-old young man died after being taken to the hospital with severe injuries.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was assigned for the investigation immediately after the incident.

The parents of Zhang Xuanwei appeared at a press conference in London on Tuesday, speaking of their unbearable grief and calling for more attentions on road safety.

The father, Zhang Zhongjin says the family has been suffered from huge devastation caused by the loss of son. He urged the UK police to speed up the delayed investigation.

"No official statement has been provided so far. We have been waiting for the result in big sorrows for an entire year," says the father.

IPCC's Communication Officer Mark Pearson says the investigation has been completed. The complete file of evidence is yet to be referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) for further consideration.

The Commissioner will soon meet the family to explain where progress has reached.

In the press conference, the father calls the UK police for better driving practices. "I notice the police vehicles in this country sometimes drive in an extremely fast and crazy way," he says.

The incident has triggered wide public concerns on roads and traffic safety in both China and the UK.

Yu Jin, 21, is an undergraduate student at the University of Birmingham. "I was totally shocked when I heard the incident last year. After that I never make phone calls when crossing the street, and I always look for the traffic light," the girl says.

As part of the safety event, police officers at Rotherhithe Police Station will be giving a Chinese community safety talk to Chinese students in London later this month.

The Chinese Embassy in the UK expresses deepest sympathy to the families of Zhang Xuan Wei, and says will continue urging the investigative committee to give an acceptable explanation.

So far the police officer has been suspended from driving, but remained active in his position at West Midlands Police.

Michael Chan, the solicitor of Mr. Zhang Zhong Jin, says the issue involves potential criminal proceedings of the police officer. They will be meeting with IPCC on Friday to confirm the releasing time of the final report of the investigation.