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China 'road vigilante' a web hit: report

02:00 Wed Jul 15 2009
MSN NZ staff
A photos of the unnamed brick-thrower in action. (Supplied)

A Chinese man has become a hero in his homeland for throwing bricks at drivers who ran red lights at a pedestrian crossing.

The retired 74-year-old school teacher was arrested last week after he damaged more than 30 cars at an intersection in Lanzhou, the capital of northwest Gansu province.

Chinese state media reports the man was trying to tell the drivers to think of pedestrians.

His actions have been a hit in Chinese cyberspace, with nearly 80 per cent of respondents to an online poll supporting him.

The ex-teacher apparently became a campaigner for road safety after a pedestrian was killed near where he lives.

He had successfully lobbied for traffic lights at the intersection concerned but became furious when drivers ignored them.

So last Thursday, joined by two other elderly men, he started lobbing bricks at cars.

He had planned to keep up his vigilante attack for a week but was stopped by police. He was not charged, according to reports.

Last year, nearly 73,500 people died in road accidents in China.