Help, I’m (not) being robbed! Chinese taxi driver’s false alarm sparks confusion

Good Samaritan rushes to help cabby after he switched on his emergency alert by accident

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 2:55pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 August, 2017, 2:55pm

A taxi driver in northwestern China caused alarm on Tuesday after driving around with a sign on top of his vehicle saying he was being robbed, mainland media reported.

“I was waiting for my girlfriend when I saw the taxi flashing its warning sign,” a man surnamed Zhang was quoted as saying by news website Sina.com the same day.

“There appeared to be no one in the car besides the driver,” he said.

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The incident, which happened in Xian, capital of Shaanxi province, turned out to be a false alarm. The driver, surnamed Chen, had switched on the sign by accident and was oblivious to the concern he had caused.

When Zhang approached the cab to see what was wrong, he said the driver gave him a puzzled look.

“[But then] he got out of the car and was shocked to see the flashing sign.”

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Chen was quoted by China Youth Daily as saying that he must have switched the alarm on by accident as they are meant for use only in emergencies.

The manager of the local taxi company said he would remind drivers to be more careful, as Chen’s false alarm was not the first.

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Last year, police in Shaanxi pursued a taxi for 20km after spotting its emergency sign flashing. It was only after they stopped the vehicle that the driver told them the light was not working properly, local media reported at the time.