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December 7, 2011

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Brave taxi driver given national honor in Beijing

YU Dingliang, a local taxi driver who saved his colleague and captured a robber early this year, received an honor for his bravery yesterday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

The 57-year-old driver from Shanghai Qiangsheng Taxi Corp was granted 50,000 yuan (US$7,852) as one of the "Hero Drivers in China" award by the China Foundation for Justice and Courage. Yu is one of two drivers from Shanghai to have been awarded the honorable title.

"I was truly honored but a little shy because I have never thought I would be awarded for doing some petty good things," Yu told Shanghai Daily yesterday in a phone interview from Beijing.

The Good Samaritan won praise for his bravery when he saved Duan Weiwei, a taxi driver who was robbed by two passengers while operating the business about 1:30pm on February 7.

Yu said he was awakened by Duan who called him after being attacked by two passengers who hit Duan in the head with bricks on Beidi Road in Minhang District.

Yu rushed to help Duan but the robber had fled. Suspecting the robber might be still around the corner, Yu chose to stay even though police had left after taking a report and dealing with the wounded.

"We didn't leave because we thought the robber might try to rob again," Yu said. The brave man, together with his injured partner, waited at an intersection and looked for the suspects in the darkness. They finally spotted a man thumbing a ride for a taxi and Duan soon recognized him as one of the robbers.

The robber was put on the ground, and the pair of cabbies took him to a nearby police station.

The taxi company said Yu is popular with his colleagues and passengers for his strong sense of ethics. Last December, Yu gave up potentially more lucrative business and picked up an elderly woman who had been waiting in the rain for nearly an hour after being rejected by earlier taxis. Yu took her to her destination, and when the woman was embarrassed at lacking money for the fare, Yu comforted her and left without complaining. The next day the woman's son thanked Yu for his kindness.

"It is my job to serve passengers and help them with my heart and soul," Yu told Shanghai Daily yesterday.


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