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Chinese woman who slapped bus driver jailed for four years

Chinese woman who slapped bus driver jailed for four years

A woman in southern China who assaulted a bus driver has been jailed for four years amid intense scrutiny of people's behaviour on public transport after a similar incident in Chongqing in October left 15 people dead.

The 29-year-old, surnamed Chen, was tried on Thursday at Meilan District People's Court in Haikou, Hainan province after being found guilty of endangering public safety, People's Daily reported on its website.It did not say if Chen would appeal the sentence.

The assault happened in December after Chen contested the fare quoted by bus driver, Fu Chuanming. He said it was 2 yuan (29 US cents) but Chen said it should be only 1 yuan.Footage from an on-board surveillance camera showed Chen arguing with Fu before grabbing a small red flag from the front windscreen - a symbol of prestige for bus crews - and throwing it to the floor.

When Fu asked her to pick it up, Chen slapped his face. He immediately pulled the bus over and called the police.

"She said I charged her an extra 1 yuan. But I was driving, so I did not explain much. Then she said she would file a complaint," Fu was quoted as saying.

"The slap came suddenly, and I was a little confused. My instinctive reaction was to stop immediately. I cannot drive when I'm upset," he said.

Passenger attacks on bus drivers have been common in China, but none provoked the public reaction that greeted video from a crash in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, when a bus plunged into the Yangtze River after a fight between the driver and a female passenger last year.

The woman began quarrelling with the driver after she missed her stop. All 15 people aboard, including the driver, were killed.

Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

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