Raoul's China Saloon (V4.0 Beta)

The Bar Room => The BS-Wrestling Pit => Topic started by: joe.thinker on March 27, 2008, 03:01:15 AM

Title: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: joe.thinker on March 27, 2008, 03:01:15 AM
Hey all -

Now, I've only been here a while, and this may be old hat, but here's a chance to share war stories. We all know the order of traffic here is, well, "in prime opportunity for improvement." Why, just this week:

Monday - I was walking and I was struck by a car. OK, allow me to clarify: I was walking, not reading, text messaging, taking hallucinatory drugs, paying attention to myself and my surroundings, and I was struck by an SUV in the left thigh. OK, allow me to clarify MORE: I was walking, in sound body and mind, paying attention, not distracted on the side walk, NOT a driveway, and I was struck by a car. Now, naturally, my first inclination was to look at the driver. Expecting a "dui bu qi" or "bu hao yi si." No. The man looked at me with a frown, tilted his head, and sighed/groaned as if to say: "Why? Why are you in my way?" (or as Con put it last night: "If you don't like my driving, get off the side walk.") llllllllll

Tuesday - I was on my friends borrowed e-bike. I was struck by another e-bike. Allow me to clarify: I was riding, paying attention, going in a straight line, with the flow of traffic, and an e-bike came barrelling out of a side street, turning left, and struck me. He clipped my front left fender, knocking it to the ground. Did he stop? No. Did others look at him? Yes. This makes me think, even to the Chinese, he was in the wrong, not me.

Tuesday afternoon - I was on said e-bike. I was struck... AGAIN by another e-bike. This time, I was as far right as I could get to the curb. I, apparently, was not moving fast enough (despite having it at full throttle), as the person came by (only slightly faster) and clipped off a section of plastic on the rear left fender. Again, was so much of a slowing down, or a passing "bu hao yi si" uttered? No.

Which brings me to the question: What the hell is wrong here? I think, using deductive logic, I have come to the most probable conclusion: I am invisible to the naked eye when viewed on the left side.

Any similar stories?
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: non-dave on March 27, 2008, 03:32:31 AM
Joe, as you were typing this I looked out my office window and watched a girl get knocked down by a little van. Not too badly damaged - they're still there now arguing about who pays who and how much.

I reckon it's not just you who is invisible. I've had a bicycle, 2 e-bikes and now a car - so I've viewed the phenomenon of motorized chinese from all perspectives.

After much deliberation and numerous, daily near-misses I have come to the following conclusion:

Every one who is mobile (in any form) is crazy and thinks that they have an inalienable "right-of-way". This applies whether the mobile individual is a high-ranking party dude, a high-flying successful businessperson, an upwardly mobile building contractor driving one of Fred Flinstone's old cars or a peasant with 2 jiao and new pair of sandles. No one gives way and no-one looks. Apparently turning your head in the opposite direction of the on-coming object invokes some kind of protection talisman (Note: this doesn't always work!)

How to combat this? Good question. Inadequate answers. Some suggestions:
1. Move to another country (Not Africa - it's even worse there.)
2. Be constantly and eternally vigilant. An ever-present mix of caution and wild abandon should guide your movements.
3. Comprehensive insurance and a license.
4. High-ranking and influential friends who owe you something.
5. Learn to scream out "傻屄!” and loosen up your middle finger. They'll figure out what it means.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: china-matt on March 27, 2008, 04:28:11 AM
When the guy hit you on the side walk you should've dialed the police, shown him the number and then asked for 5,000 kuai. Or you could've kicked in a headlight.

The other day I was walking home on the sidewalk from Carrefour... a moron honked at me from behind and pulled within inches of my legs. I yelled as loud as I could that the bastard for a few minutes--and he backed up.

People who honk at me while I'm in the right get to wait. I'll learn 'em some manners.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Granny Mae on March 27, 2008, 06:50:52 AM
joe.thinker,when I walk through the Casino car park in Brisbane, I can pick a lot of the cars driven by Chinese or Asian folk. They can't even park  with power steering to help. You'd think they were trying to park a semi-trailer with a "dog" (trailer) attached.When ever someone is doing something stupid on the road, I have a bet with my neighbour that it will be an Asian; although occasionally it is a "SOFWAH".( silly old fart with a hat) Please don't even talk about Asian taxi drivers in Brisbane. Given the amount of space we have on our roads here and lack of bycycles and pedestrians,they are, on the whole,rotten drivers. I am surprised that you have even lived to tell the tale over there.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on March 27, 2008, 07:03:11 AM
I had the most amazing taxi ride the other day.  The driver had clearly spent waaaay too many hours playing racing games on his computer or in the arcade.

I figure that as a nation, not too many Chinese people have 'grown up' in cars the way we have.  So the processes of looking out for other vehicles, pedestrians etc aren't ingrained as ours are even before we learn to drive or ride. On the whole most drivers have had little experience with being in vehicles, especially ones with any speed attached.

License getting is a costly process, but actual driving experience is low.  And added to the general disregard for rules, the 'water flowing' theory of Ruth's, or my 'parallel universes" theory, then roads and traffic here are exciting adventures.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Calach Pfeffer on March 27, 2008, 08:41:58 AM
Chinese have system.  They do.  Really.  Ride a bike for a while and you can get to know when and in what situation people will do what stupid thing.  (This offers no protection whatsoever for "rogue waves"--the people who come out of nowhere, but anyway.)

They don't use lane markings.  They don't use rear view mirrors.  But they don't use bullheadedness either--they ease off their straight lines for people doing odd things, like backing into traffic or driving on the wrong side, or pulling out without warning, and so on.

They do swarm, for example when the light has turned red but people are still moving across the intersection.  They do start their left turns a hundred meters too early.  They do text n drive.

Three point turns never happen, but if a reversing procedure is underway, it won't be halted.

And broadly speaking, everyone has a much smaller need for personal space.  On a bike that's really unnerving when you find yourself in a pack--people will approach from behind on a line that puts them suddenly next to you within elbow distance. 

I don't know if it's really the best way, but I've come to believe it's safer to be able to move faster than the other two wheelers around you, and it's safer to function like a car following the actual traffic rules--take a center line, keep away from the curb, look before you turn, and so on.

It's really very much a whole lot just like the way they walk.  Chinese drive just like they queue.

Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: belrain on March 27, 2008, 08:44:57 AM
One day, I had to take the bus from Ningbo to Shanghai - well, it is very interesting to sit directly behind the driver at such a trip  aoaoaoaoao
I still wonder I arrived alive and nothing happend. And the bus had a warning system. Each time the speed was higher than 100 km/h, a nerving sound appeared - good thing is, no chance for the driver to sleep ahahahahah
Then, at the bus station in Shanghai, I changed to a taxi. And guess what, after about 4m driving, he hit a pedestrian. But the pedestrian just jumped up like nothing happened and went away uuuuuuuuuu

Traffic in China is ................... interesting. I hope I never have to drive there myself aoaoaoaoao
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Stil on March 27, 2008, 11:20:55 AM
Joe, this is definitely your fault. As you said you haven't been here long so perhaps you don't know your mistakes. I'll list them.

1. You were paying attention
2. You were going in a straight line
3. You were going with the flow of traffic
4. You were walking on the sidewalk
5. You were not reading
6. You were not text messaging
7. You were not on any hallucinatory drugs

What were you thinking man?

ps Don't do any thinking either
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Con ate dog on March 27, 2008, 11:41:42 AM
Today Babala and I were in a taxi that got pinched: the bus in front suddenly slowed, and a car came up on the left.  Faced with either hitting the bus, sideswiping the car or letting that guy get ahead, our driver pulled an amazing stunt: he stood on the gas, fried straight at the bus, then juked left at the last possible second, one of the most aggressive and precise pieces of driving I have ever seen.

Is he a terrible driver for attempting it, or a great one for executing it?
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on March 27, 2008, 01:09:02 PM
He's on a retainer from the local hospital - the more heart attacks he brings in the more he gets free medical care for his family.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: adamsmith on March 27, 2008, 02:22:18 PM
just tonight on my way home to read this post, I was trying to cross the street. Always an interesting experience in China, but I tried to use the traffic lights and I still wait for them to turn green as my insurance is not paid up at this time. The road is a busy one and I hate to do the old walk a lane and wait bit. Well the oncoming light turns red and I start to walk across. Get halfway and all the oncoming taxis swerve around the cars waiting at the red light and take aim at me as I am trying desperately to make it to the other side. I swear that Wuhan taxi drivers must have a bit of the bull in their blood because it seems the color red just sets them off. I had to dodge four taxis and that was while I was standing in the middle of the road. By the time they all got by the light changed and I was left standing there dodging the busses that were chasing the taxis. bqbqbqbqbq bqbqbqbqbq sitting in the middle of the road now.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: BrandeX on March 27, 2008, 03:40:31 PM
I have come up with the term "quasi-civilized" when I am having a bad China day and feel the need to categorize, and justify to myself the reasonings of the actions of its citizens.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: George on March 27, 2008, 07:56:28 PM
The old "turning right when the light is red" trick is a dangerous time for pedestrians. Nobody wants to give way to us. bibibibibi
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: joe.thinker on April 01, 2008, 03:57:34 AM
Update:

On the way to a café today I saw a woman looking around for a spot to cross a busy road. She was with her daughter. When the mother couldn't find a spot, she boxed her daughters eyes and said: "Don't look, just go! Don't look, just go!"

Way to start them off right!
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Con ate dog on April 02, 2008, 09:21:59 AM
Such dangerous cutting in a saw this morning!  I can feel the postal thing building inside me, as it always does this time of year.  I need to get out of town: I have concrete poisoning.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Fugu on April 02, 2008, 07:20:26 PM


..I was struck by an SUV in the left thigh....on the side walk..

Mate, he hit you on a footpath? I would’ve seriously considered collapsing, rolling around, screaming and clutching my thigh (although the thought of rolling around on the ground in China fills my mind with dread – three thousand years of spit and all that, however, I digress).

The schadenfreude would’ve been immense and if the act was good enough, I’d be expecting at least a 10k payout...
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: non-dave on April 03, 2008, 02:58:39 AM
Hitting on old lady scuttling across the highway in peak-hour traffic and shattering her leg - with a 3 day hospital stay - only costs 7000, so 10K is probably a bit ambitious. 2-3K would probably be in the ballpark, though, considering it was the footpath and SUV's are expensive.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: dragonsaver on April 08, 2008, 09:07:05 AM
I had a scary thought today.

The Olympics.  200,000 westerners who know that people have the right of way in an intersection.

Beijing where cars have the right of way even when the light is red and people are walking on the green light in an intersection.

Could cause some MAJOR problems if the westerners are hit!!
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: belrain on April 08, 2008, 12:39:49 PM
But maybe, all driving will be forbidden during Olympics ahahahahah
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: dragonsaver on April 08, 2008, 01:09:48 PM
No way will the people in Beijing give up their driving.  Don't forget Taxis they are the worst offenders and they will be out in droves. 

Maybe the police can keep the driving under control, but I have my doubts.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: adamsmith on April 08, 2008, 05:38:11 PM
its going to be interesting, thats for sure. But then again, Seoul drivers were just as bad 20 years ago (and almost as bad today, especially the taxi drivers) when they hosted the olympics and they did not have too many incidents. Beijing might surprise us (but I doubt it)
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: belrain on April 09, 2008, 05:21:27 AM
Probably, the chinese government will do high punishments on drivers, hitting a foreigner during the Olympics - extremely high punishments. And then, all drivers will take care oooooooooo
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Con ate dog on April 10, 2008, 04:50:38 AM
The only thing worse than the appalling traffic on Mo Ye Lu this morning...

...was our retard of a driver.  The previous guy was great, but this new shmo has no clue.  He always has these creative shortcuts that invariably add 10 minutes to every trip, and this morning he got impatient and tried to drive around the two lanes of traffic we were in (which already should have been one).  Instant oncoming cars, left-turning cars, and a fleet of bokes of all sizes converged upon us- and we had nowhere to go.  We caused a traffic jam the other way, and once the lanes started moving we couldn't return and move forward with them.

Idiot. adadadadad
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: china-matt on April 10, 2008, 06:08:18 AM
I still like the fact that about a month ago Shenzhen decided that it would fine drivers who excessively honk 150 RMB. They claimed to hand out a few hundred fines in the first couple days. Despite the nice banner on the corner by my apartment proclaiming that honking is uncivilized behavior, there is no difference in the honking or driving habits of the wealthy populace. To add to this wonderful idea of the government, they also decided to crack down on jaywalking... from 8-10pm. Lot of good that logic does.

Perhaps the next phase of the plan will include ENFORCEMENT of the laws already in place. What a brilliant idea that would be.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on April 10, 2008, 06:48:48 AM
I don't think there will be very many foreigners actually driving here - China does not recognise International licenses.  So we will be relying on taxis, which will be interesting in itself. 

Road crossing will be exciting, but on this trip to Beijing, I felt more pedestrians and drivers were obeying the lights.  I also figure that most of the visitors will be in the 'tourist friendly' areas - not out in the more remote/rural suburbs, so traffic rules may be more obeyed.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: non-dave on April 10, 2008, 12:07:32 PM
But getting your license is easy - as long as you have your current O/S license and know someone who can help you pass the writing test - you can have your very own Chinese Driving License. You have to pass the (computerized yes/No, Right/Wrong 100 Q's) writing test & get 90+. If you're in any halfway decent sized city it should be available in English (I know BJ, Shanghai and Guangzhou have the English test).

Even without a car I reckon having the license would be a huge plus... and also useful for holidays and trips around. Renting a car is dead easy - if you have the Chinese license.

Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on April 10, 2008, 01:01:23 PM
I was talking about the tourists - not the foreign 'locals'.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: non-dave on April 10, 2008, 11:23:44 PM
Apparently it's possible for tourists too. I have heard that there have been some law changes which now allow foreigners (without residence permit) to get a temporary 90 day Chinese license.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Con ate dog on April 11, 2008, 09:47:56 AM
Apparently it's possible for tourists too. I have heard that there have been some law changes which now allow foreigners (without residence permit) to get a temporary 90 day Chinese license.

IMO this is inviting a holocaust.  Imagine dropping 40 defensive drivers intoa city for rush hour?  Carnage.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: ericthered on May 28, 2008, 06:00:16 AM
Of course he was angry. You were occupying the space where his vehicle needed to go. You should have thought about that and the fact that it hurts to be hit by a car. Makes perfect sense.....to a Chinese person....
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Stil on May 28, 2008, 09:02:42 AM
Makes perfect sense.....to a Chinese person....

Makes perfect sense.....to a cop....
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: non-dave on May 28, 2008, 02:40:09 PM
e-bike vs. car

do the maths! The road rules follow the maths.

... glad you weren't hurt more.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Con ate dog on May 31, 2008, 08:50:54 AM
Joe, I think you should move that post Upstairs.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: GwaiLower on June 05, 2008, 06:37:45 PM
Benhur style wheel blades and judicious application of spikes. Wear a helmet with a horse hair plume or a large mohawk on it, leather shoulder pads, like the roadwarriar.  Nobody bumps my bike, or steps up or gets in my way.  They dont look me in the eye either, of course the wandering glass one with the screaming mouth design for a pupil means they dont know which one to look at.

Seriously, unless I go out of my way to stand out, they always crowd me really bad and step up on collision course.  I find myself wondering what would happen if I dropped a shoulder and dropped a pedestrian.  I played noseguard for years I can drop one of these scrawney F'ers in a heart beat, but I dont...  I cant figure out if theres rules that only they know  or if they smell nondeoderant pheramones like ants and so just avoid each other but because I WEAR deoderant and Im not Chinese they cant smell mine???
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: joe.thinker on June 06, 2008, 02:24:57 AM
I really want to get a hold of the driver's manual for the Chinese road system, and read it. Just to see if there are, in fact, rules.

A friend who's been here a number of years said: "No. Not really. They enter traffic without looking, and when a collision is immanent, they just stop. Because the person driving has to pass a test, they must be better at the roads than you. They do this because their parents did it. And their parents did it. And their parents didn't have cars on the road, and the fastest moving vehicle was a rickshaw."
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: GwaiLower on June 06, 2008, 03:33:45 PM
The odd thing to me though is they dont seem to run into each other that much though.  I mean there are a lot of accidents but considering the lack of apparent rules or organizaton of traffic into lanes or taking turns etc, why arent there 10 to 20 times more accidents and and why dont they run into each otehr when their walking around on the street, sidewalk, in the mall etc the way they run into me? 

How long did it take for you all to stop saying excuse me when you bumped into someone by the way? I still find my self doing it even though they don't say a word when they barrel into me and I'm sure most don't understand my words either...  Of course I don't live there full time like most of you either so...
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on June 06, 2008, 03:56:20 PM
Parallel universes is the answer to the 1st question.  The components of the traffic all exist in parallel universes, with the white lines being the anchors for these universes. This is the only logical reason to have the white lines.  Road decoration seems an improbable waste of money. When these anchors weaken is the time when the universes collide and accidents happen.

Your second question - I still apologise after 4 years - but instead of saying 'excuse me', I now say 'bu hao yisi". Always gets a 'mei guanxi' in response.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Con ate dog on June 10, 2008, 08:05:39 AM
What Lotus said.  I still give the "aiyou! Dubuqi" when I clip someone in my black SUV that never goes offroad.  At least until the cheeky little vermin yell at me for compensation, at which point I instruct my driver to whack them in the shins with a cane and swipe their wallets.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: mrozark on June 26, 2008, 07:34:50 PM
Here in a sleepy historic town in Malaysia, the drivers like to play a game:
go real fast and almost hit the bicycle with your car.

I'm the one on the bike. And its for sure just a matter of time. Unless I get the heck out of here first. I'm saving my pennies.

I don't miss the drivers in China at all. Or the bicycle riders or the pedestrians for that matter. In China I went from screaming and banging on the hood when drivers would run the light then try to run me over to just photographing them. Have a camera with an 'instant on' with you at all times.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Mister Barfly on June 29, 2008, 04:25:49 AM
My girlfriend has had two accidents in the last month.  She has been riding her E-Bike and there was a car in the bike lane, she was turning left and when the traffic light went green, the car suddenly turned right and striaght into her and the bike.  She was amazed that loads of chinese people stood in front of the car so he couldnt drive off.  He had to take her to hospital and pay for everything, luckily she wasnt too hurt.  The second time she just came out of work and she was going past a slow moving car, the dorr suddenly opened and smashed striaght into her fingers. The door shut quickly and the car drove off.  Luckily nothing was broken. 

I have had people suddenly swerve into me when I have been going in a striaght line on a big road with no one else on it, I was like 2 metres away from the guy and its like they go into a day dream and just go lala.  I have had to kick a few bikes out of the way when they have done it.

Pedestrians walking off of bus stops is the worst, they never look, they just walk straight out into the bike last.  I have seen loads of accidents next to bus stops. 

I have only fallen off my bike once, when a couple walked straight out in front of me, looking directly at me, i slammed on the brakes (even though I should have slammed into them) and the back end slid out and I fell off.  They just continued to stare and walk. 

Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: mrozark on June 29, 2008, 07:35:34 AM

I have only fallen off my bike once, when a couple walked straight out in front of me, looking directly at me, i slammed on the brakes (even though I should have slammed into them) and the back end slid out and I fell off.  They just continued to stare and walk. 



To Mister Barfly:

I am sorry that they continued to stare and walk. As a fellow human being, I see no excuse for such black-hearted and callous behavior, but I have only seen this in China or other extremely racial locations where you're the odd-one-out.

It's interesting how your girlfriend was treated kindly. I have seen this as well. Also, middle-aged female teachers seem to have no experience with how abusive the Chinese can be to foreign males (especially when on their own without a friend).

Anyone lovers of China want to defend that behavior? I don't see any excuse for it myself. This kind of coldness happened to me several times in China and then one time when I wiped out on my motorbike in Thailand. Just cold stares.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on June 29, 2008, 08:34:57 AM
This is NOT a racist phenomenon, but a 'I don't want to get involved' phenomenon.  Happens all over the world, not just with accidents, but rapes, beatings, muggings etc. People will stare, walk carefully around someone on the ground and keep going.  Happens in Australia, the US, UK - you name it. 

The very best you can hope for sometimes is that someone, when they have gone far enough past you not to be linked, will call the police or ambulance.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: AMonk on June 29, 2008, 08:59:53 AM
That would also not be a new attitude, LE.  As I recall in the story of the Good Samaritan, several people came along, looked at the victim and continued on their way.  Without helping the injured man.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on June 29, 2008, 09:20:35 AM
I agree Amonk.  And as a lover of China - I don't condone it here - or anywhere else in the world!
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Granny Mae on June 30, 2008, 06:31:00 AM
Not that I have experienced an accident or incident in China, but perhaps Lotus Eater has a point about people just not wanting to get involved. I expect it is a worldwide problem as the majority of people go about their daily lives and don't really want any more hassles than those which they have to deal with. I see the behaviour of Asian people in particular at the Casino. It seems to be every man for himself as they push in front of you and nearly trample you to death to get into the lifts... it's nothing personal. Having said that, I have experienced several instances of Anglo saxon Australian people behaving in a manner which is unacceptable to me, but can only fall under the heading of "not wanting to get involved". On one occasion, a man was being kicked to death on a main street footpath in Darwin. Crowds of people walked past and did nothing despite its  being obvious that the man was unconscious. I had to lie on top of this man to save him as I screamed to a shopkeeper to call the ambulance...no one helped! A lady had an epileptic fit on a very full train, again no one moved to help her. I ended up alone with an unconscious woman on a near deserted railway platform. I must admit that the train guard did help me to carry this lady off the train and on to the platform. (he then jumped back on the train, blew the whistle and the train took off)The ticket inspector did call an ambulance and walked back to his office and left me with a woman I had never seen before. To top that off, people who got off other trains, just stepped over her legs (she was near the edge of the platform) Again no one offered to help. I waited half an hour for the ambulance and the woman did not regain consciousness during that time. I have other stories of similar types of behaviour by people from my own country, Australia. If I hadn't experienced these things, I would find it hard to believe that a broad spectrum of people could behave in such a manner. I won't even go into my trying to evacuate a two story building on my own during a bomb scare aoaoaoaoao or the fact that I fell over (following hip surgery) and could not get up. Yeah, you guessed it, a lady saw me fall as she was jogging behind me;she crossed the street, rather than get involved and help me to my feet. I had to wait for my cries for help to be heard by neighbours down the street. bibibibibi
 All that I can conclude is that people do not want to get involved, which is no doubt Lotus Eaters experience also.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: AMonk on June 30, 2008, 07:02:48 AM
A social psychologist will tell you that the more people there are around to do something, the less likelihood that anyone will do anything aoaoaoaoao   The attitude is "Someone (else) will do it.  I shouldn't get in the way".

And then there is the (in)famous RubberNeck Syndrome.  Go slowly past, for a really good look, and then speed up because "Thank goodness it's not me lying there".
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on June 30, 2008, 07:08:08 AM
Definitely NOT just a 'Chinese' attitude.

Here I've found most accidents - even fairly small bingles - collect a crowd of on-lookers.  Lots of advice given etc.  BUT .. no-one can move the cars/bikes etc until the police come, because to move the vehicle implies liability. 
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: mrozark on July 06, 2008, 04:22:23 AM
OK, the Chinese are cold-hearted and racist at times. People in other countries can be, too. So it is ok.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Mister Barfly on July 06, 2008, 04:28:40 AM
I do love China, the only time I sometimes dont like it is when I am on the road or waiting in a que at a supermarket or restaurant. 
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Senor Boogie Woogie on August 22, 2008, 09:13:34 AM

Hola!

The problem that I see is that there are so many damn cars on the road, and the scarcity of space. I think there is something on the lines of at least 1,000 new automobiles every month in Hangzhou alone, making traffic that much worse. And these are HUGE ASSED SUV pieces of shit. Big sedans. No dinky rice burners here.

Most drivers in China are new drivers with very little experience. Driving requires experience. Also when it comes to traffic laws, China is a very free place. The police are not enforcing the laws, and depend a lot on cameras to catch scofflaws in action. Anyone can drive drunk here as long as they can somewhat keep it on the road and do not kill anyone. This is changing slowly, but for an evil, authoritarian, Communist nation, people aren't too afraid of the cops, and the cops aren't out to bust balls.

I don't miss driving one tiny, tiny bit. Driving sucks. There is the expense of the automobile, the gasoline (running now at about 6 RMB a liter), the insurance, the tires, the mechanical upkeep, the oil changes, worry about theft and damage, being worried about others on the road. The feeling that if the car breaks down or fails, my life is upside down, and me at the mercy of asshole mechanics with their greasy paws out. Paying the government expensive regisration fees. I can pay 1-3 RMB for the bus, or less than 20 RMB by taxi to getv around the inner city. In the United States, for the same services would be much, much more expensive. China has a decent rail system. Why drive to Nanjing, when I can rail it? In many parts of the United States, if one wants to go 100 kilometers from one town to the next, the car is the only mechanized option, and I am not talking about little places either. Fuck China getting the MEGLEV, when is America getting a MEGLEV?

Even if I was a billionaire, I would not drive, I would just have a driver at my beck and call. All these cars are ridiculous. The Chinese government needs to do something on limiting all these cars on the road, especially some of these behometh pieces of crap.

Senor


Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: James the Brit on August 24, 2008, 08:15:41 PM
Good post Senor. bfbfbfbfbf. Right on the mark.

And yes, Chelsea Tractors suck, especially when used to show off to your pals or pick up the kids from school/or going to Tesco's. A friend of mine uses them as a urinal. afafafafaf

-Hey, look at me in my SUV.
-No, get a McKaying life!
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: chinalin on November 19, 2008, 04:02:55 PM
I love this thread.  I think we mostly all feel the same about the traffic here, and the rules, or lack of.

Last night, I was in the city centre, and had been shopping, and was on my way to a regular restaurant.  When I approached one of the busiest intersections in the city centre, I was very pleased to see a policeman on point duty.  So, I thought that when the pedestrians got the green light, it would be much more controlled than usual (which is pandemonium with cars just running the red light, as if, well I was waiting to get there, and now I can go, too bad if the light changed when you were twenty metres up the road, or more!!)

But, when the lights changed to red, and two cars (miraculously) stopped at the stop line, the policeman on duty waved them on, and continued to wave cars through, against the red light.  By the time the pedestrians got a chance to cross the road, there was 9 seconds left on the green 'walk' light!!  Go figure!!

Oh silly me, I did think that having the cops controlling the intersection might mean that the traffic lights would have some meaning, for a change!!

Lin,
Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province.

 bxbxbxbxbx
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: china-matt on November 20, 2008, 05:31:26 AM
Chinalin, do you mean to tell me there's a magical place in China where the police direct traffic?? This I gotta see.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: dragonsaver on November 20, 2008, 05:34:55 AM
There is a place in Dalian.  Female traffic director. She stands on top of a 'round podium' thingie in the middle of the street.  She does stop cars - no light either, and then lets turning cars have a chance to turn.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: chinalin on November 20, 2008, 10:54:28 PM
Yes, China-matt, sometimes in downtown Zhaoqing, there appear to be many police on the major intersections.  But generally traffic, be it vehicular or pedestrian, seem to ignore them, like they are not there!!  Just this one time, when the cars etc., were getting a bonus, (managing to run a red light under police instructions) they actually followed instructions.  I think there is a police academy somewhere here, and these guys seem to be doing work experience, or something.  It does not seem like they carry any authority at all, if you watch the way the locals follow (not!!) instructions!
Lin. bxbxbxbxbx
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on November 21, 2008, 01:18:08 AM
Police direct traffic in Xi'an and Beijing.  Often 2 or 3 police at the one intersection WITH lights.  fascinating.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: psd4fan on November 27, 2008, 09:01:20 AM
I hope to live out my days here with my future wife and family. As long as I am in this country I will never get behind the wheel of anything bigger than a go-kart.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on November 27, 2008, 09:51:57 AM
I so wanted to have a video camera and be able to stay to film the other day.  I was in the uni bus heading out to the new campus when we were held up at an intersection.  Lights working perfectly - but 2 traffic police in the centre directing.  And directing with precision choreography!!  It was spectacular to watch.  CLEAN white gloves, arms at at precise angles, military turns.  At one point they faced away from each other, directing traffic flow east-west and then on cue, spun about, faced each other and switched their direction, hands at exactly the same position, stopping traffic.  Exactly in time.  It was beautiful to watch.  hhhhhhhhhh
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: AMonk on November 27, 2008, 10:02:49 AM
The question is....Did they also co-ordinate with the lights?
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Lotus Eater on November 27, 2008, 10:22:01 AM
Not even sure they looked at them!  But it all worked.  ahahahahah
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: latefordinner on November 29, 2008, 03:04:28 AM
DS, you beat me to the post.  bjbjbjbjbj The place is Renmin Square, Zhongshan Road. The main east-west arterial road in the city. And it works.  bfbfbfbfbf Probably because it's at the entrance to the square, not a major intersection; possibly also because there are lights at Beijing Street and Xinkai Road just a little ways down in either direction.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: boomshanker on March 28, 2009, 03:44:03 AM
I am not sure if it's the same bloke, or if there is a special training school where these cyclists are trained to wait and pounce at the right moment.But whenever you are in an extremly congested traffic situation and there is only room between you and a great container wagon this bloke appears on a 3 wheel pushbike with polystyrene 4 metres high coming up the wrong side of the road the wrong way straight for the 3 mm you are trying to slide into. ........but no road rage ......no eye contact......thank god otherwise the population would be halved in a week. llllllllll
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: spuglyfuglet on April 05, 2009, 11:25:37 PM
Cars = Bicycles = Penetrations
I get go to any 3ed world country with a high car level
and China believe me is a lot better.

One word "Ciro" Egypt get car there and cross town.
scared is not the word for it.

But what worries me is the NO Safety belt Taxis.
speeding around China all ready to send you
up to meet the ancestors.

Even Ciro's Taxis have safety belts!!
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Schnerby on April 06, 2009, 01:36:22 AM
Had a read hair-raiser in Zhengzhou yesterday. I wonder what the road toll is here?

Crazy stuff.
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: synthette58 on April 07, 2009, 02:04:53 PM
I do love China, the only time I sometimes dont like it is when I am on the road or waiting in a que at a supermarket or restaurant. 


Amen, to that!!

I DO love China..........the people, the culture.............but the driving?? Oi Gevalt!!!..........like they learned to drive in New Delhi or even Milan, god forbid!!!

In this sleepy little hamlet of Lin'an.........well, for example, I was walking down a local street yesterday, no-one about (it's a holiday weekend FGS!!!).........and a taxi comes bowling down the road - and, I mean, smokin' !!!!)..........honking his horn like it was Hogmanay..............
The road was deserted!
Empty!
No-one around! Anyone with any sanity left was sleeping!
Yet, here's this one Jackass, with his hand on the horn!!

Get a freakin' life, already!!!
Grow up!

The traffic here scares me silly.
Seriously.

Drive in China?????????????????
Only if you have no medical coverage and a death wish!

Example: my first foray to China (m'kay, I lived in the Middle East for 11 yrs, so, one does become au fait with 'seat belts' or lack of.........hoho....."so, I no use seatbilts, mean I can 'fford good plastic surgery for my son!! haha!!" mentality).
On my drive from Hangzhou airport to the city, I tried, on several lurching occasions, to locate the seatbelt attachment for the rear seat - only to be met with a handful of grime and other unmentionables............I did NOT feel safe!........not for a single moment!
I was scared.
Seriously.

Driving in China - be afraid.
Taking cab in China - be even more afraid.

They all learned in India.........trust me. I'd feel safer in an autorickshaw!

Never mind teaching them to speaka-de-English..........how about someone teaching them the basics of road etiquette???

.........not to mention electric scooters!!
(and the expats who drive them!!.........yup, Paddyfields, I'm talkin' 'bout YOU!! LOL!!)

Peace...........stay off the roads!
 agagagagag

Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: paddyfields on April 07, 2009, 02:33:12 PM

.........not to mention electric scooters!!
(and the expats who drive them!!.........yup, Paddyfields, I'm talkin' 'bout YOU!! LOL!!)

Peace...........stay off the roads!
 agagagagag



stay off the roads! Drive on the Pavement  aoaoaoaoao
Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: synthette58 on April 07, 2009, 03:15:57 PM
Yay, Bud!!......just like you do!!

Jaysus, you make life in Lin'an just a breeze!

I'll pop yur tyres yet, Paddy-O!

 agagagagag












Title: Re: Roads and traffic: What the hell is wrong here?
Post by: Mr Nobody on April 08, 2009, 02:02:48 AM
I think one of the main reasons is that a licence costs 3,800 if you don't want to do the test, and 3,800 if you do.

So they don't.

I TELL my wife to drive on the footpath with her ebike. Stuff the rest of the planet, I worry about her. My baby goes nowhere with her unless there is no streets to cross.

If you don't like my ideas, then just stay off the footpath in Nannging.