Crackdown on ‘Chinese-Style Street Crossing’ in Zhejiang

Chinese traffic officials waging a public service campaign against pedestrians crossing streets during red lights.

From NetEase:

Zhejiang Has Punished Over 8000 Instances of Chinese-Style Street Crossings in 20 Days, With Many Unhappy People Attacking Traffic Police

According to Xinhua News Service, this reporter learned from the Zhejiang Province Department of Public Security that since Zhejiang province started cracking down and strictly punishing 8 types of serious traffic violations from March 1st onward, over 11,000 violations have been already been punished throughout the entire province, amongst which 8,283 were “Chinese-style street crossing” where violators cross during a red light.

"Chinese Style Street Crossing", describing phenomenon where Chinese pedestrians will cross a street as long as they are in a group regardless of whether or not the light is red.

Urban traffic and congestion control is the top priority amongst Zhejiang province’s 2013 Top 10 practical matters to be done in service of the people, with 8 various violations affecting traffic order including pedestrians crossing on red lights, driving under the influence, and illegal parking being the first to be cracked down on. The Zhejiang Province Department of Public Security intends to make it 2013’s “1st Operation”, launching it province-wide on March 1st.

During this operation, the most controversial has been the punishment of the two situations of pedestrians crossing the street during a red light and pedestrians crossing the street outside of the crosswalk. According to the Zhejiang Province Department of Public Security bulletin on March 21st, over the past 20 days, these two types of behaviors account for 8,283 and 1,622 of the punishments.

"Chinese Style Street Crossing", describing phenomenon where Chinese pedestrians will cross a street as long as they are in a group regardless of whether or not the light is red.

The “Chinese style street crossing” where people “cross once there is a big enough group without regard for the traffic light” became a hot public discussion topic as early as last year, with how to manage it becoming a headache for various major cities. Now, Zhejiang province has regulated that pedestrians pedestrians who are caught on the scene crossing the street during a red light or crossing outside of the crosswalk by traffic police will be fined 5 to 20 yuan, and has furthermore committed a large amount of police manpower, with the this being the first time such a large scope and strict punishment has been implemented [with regards to this type of violation] in the entire country.

This reporter discovered that under such strict enforcement, pedestrians have begun abiding by the rules a lot. However, a small minority of pedestrians continue to disregard the rules as before, with even multiple instances of unwilling-to-be-fined pedestrians attacking and verbally abusing traffic police, and a number of people being arrested as a result.

Experts have pointed out that the intent of this is good, but the problems of whether or not the effects of such enforcement will last, whether or not traffic police have the resources to manage the vast numbers of pedestrians, and whether or not pedestrians can change their habits remain to be scene.

A Chinese police officer giving a ticket and fining a pedestrian who has crossed a street illegally.

Comments from NetEase:

网易广东省广州市网友:

First enforce cars yielding for pedestrians.

2672413 [网易德国网友]: (responding to above)

If you waited for the green light before crossing, I doubt cars would dare hit you. Don’t complain about having others do this or that the moment you are forced to abide by the rules.

网易黑龙江省齐齐哈尔市网友 [我意纵横123]: (responding to above)

Nonsense, they haven’t even done a good job enforcing driving under the influence or drunk driving and are starting to enforce against pedestrians. The number of people who have been hit and killed at crosswalks is not small.

Sakura12 [网易广西南宁市手机网友]: (responding to above)

Third floor [above commenter], please find multiple examples of cases where pedestrians have been hit and killed at crosswalks for everyone to see.

胡思不乱写 [网易广东省佛山市网友]:

“Xu Wenguang: Just what are we afraid of missing?” : From Singapore to Bintan Island is a 55 minute ferry ride. Over 80% of the passengers are our country’s compatriots. The moment the gates are opened, everyone scrambles towards the deck. I heard the voices of two laowai amongst the crowd. One asked: “Is this ship not going to wait for us?” One asked: “Doesn’t everyone have a seat?” I sullenly reflected upon these two questions: Those of us holding ferry tickets but scrambling to be first and afraid to be last, just what are we afraid of missing?

网易安徽省黄山市网友: (responding to above)

Isn’t it all a result of taking trains [in China]? Once you’re at the stop, it’s just a few minutes, but if you’re just a bit late, then you often have to wait several hours?

局域内网 [网易广东省网友]:

First enforce those arrogant reckless white-license-plated luxury cars first, then enforce the rest. Everything should be done in steps. If you want your shadow to be straight, first straighten your own body!

网易广东省中山市网友 [佐罗也无奈]:

The United States has very few traffic lights. How come they all abide by the rules?

东西男北中 [网易辽宁省大连市网友]: (responding to above)

I’m not going to talk about how ball-aching the setup of China‘s traffic lights are. At some intersections, pedestrians often have to wait 1 and a half to 2 minutes before getting one green light, and the speed with which the light changes is just enough for one normal person to cross the street which is probably 10 to 15 seconds which means the light will have already changed for those who are slower. As for those without traffic lights but do have crosswalks, those are even worse. Too many cars are sold and road construction can’t keep up, so they let pedestrians bear the costs.

网易山东省济南市网友 [unreal555]:

Two ways, 6 lanes, 10 second green light, how are you supposed to cross that? Once you’ve finished waiting for the right-turning cars to pass by, and you’re about to start crossing, the light is already yellow.

网易宁夏银川市网友 [暈斯特羅夫斯基]: (responding to above)

Very simple, build a pedestrian overpass bridge! Dig a pedestrian tunnel! A short green light is something you should complain about to the traffic police, it isn’t an excuse for you to run a red light, illegally cross the street, or use Chinese-style street crossing!

unreal555 [网易山东省济南市网友]: (responding to above)

What a big mouth, you think building an overpass or digging a tunnel is easy? Go ahead and suggest it, and see who pays you any attention. What I’m talking about is real life circumstances, not excuses. I’m young and healthy, but even I have to run to get across this street. I fucking never run red lights. This is about “being red-lighted”, do you understand? It’s about crossing the street and the light turns red with you being unable to finish crossing and not even having a place to wait. Before opening your mouth, first use your brain.

A Chinese traffic officer maintaining order at an intersection.

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  • bert

    Will it work? I doubt it.

  • Billy

    Braver than me thats for sure!!

  • Archie

    They need to go all out and enforce all the road rules at the same time. Not focus on one or two.

    Cars pushing through pedestrian traffic when they do not have right of way is painful. As is watching traffic jam up because cars creep into intersections even when they traffic ahead of them is piled up within the interesection only to find when the light changes red, they’re stuck there causing the traffic going the other way to be blocked. They grow impatient, and when they finally have some space to move they follow the same counter-productive process.

    Such a mess. Needs an all or nothing approach to be fixed.

    • http://www.facebook.com/jobjed Jeffrey Wu

      The police don’t have the manpower to enforce all the issues you mentioned. If you’ve been to China you’ll know just how hindering jaywalking pedestrians are to cars. In Guangzhou and Shanghai, the pedestrians at least have *some* form of common sense, but go inland a few hours to cities like Wuxi and Jinzhou and you’ll see just how nonsensical pedestrians there are. Regardless of cars or traffic lights, they’ll cross whenever they feel like it. This is an issue that is prevalent nationwide and while it is encouraging to see one province begin to tackle the issue, it’s still concerning that other provinces haven’t begun to yet.

      • Archie

        The money they make from fining this behaviour would pay for the necessary manpower, and some.

        • http://www.facebook.com/jobjed Jeffrey Wu

          There is enough money to pay for the salaries of police, the problem is that there aren’t enough police. The police to population ratio of China is actually quite low.

          • Wu

            I see tonnes of pack police offices in every city I check my Ress permit in. The fact that most police stations are nearly always hidden in some quiet little block makes me think they have very little work to do and that they choose that little block because they like it that way.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

            Those ain’t traffic cops, they couldn’t issue a ticket even if they wanted to.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

            Oh, there are plenty of police, the issue is the division of duties. Only traffic cops can issue traffic fines. Normal cops simply don’t care, because it’s not their job… same pretty much everywhere.

            What I’d LOVE to see is crowdsourced policing. See a violation? Take some pics or a video and fire it off to a centralized site which takes the GPS and assigns it to the relevant jurisdiction. Same as a trouble-ticket system. Provide feedback to the submitter on the resolution. Possibly even incentivize it with a small cut of the fine. Suddenly now, “traffic cams” are everywhere, there is no hiding. A giant block of illegally parked cars? Is it worth the time to photograph or video all 50 of them? Well, if you’re pulling 10% of the 200 fines, that’s 1000 kuai for nothing, hell, I’d do it. City gets more money for better policing, residents get a cut of the action, and government is made more responsive to the masses. Obviously, there’s the case of objectivity and context for situations, but with those extra funds, there would be more resources available to better judge them appropriately.

      • ScottLoar

        I’ve seen gaggles of school kids in rural Sichuan meandering along the road then suddenly dart across like geese, and the guy I was with was a Chinese driver in a Mercedes. Not a fun time as I anxiously searched the road.

  • narsfweasels

    This is good to see, especially as this is basically enforcing pre-existing regulations. However, the amount of manpower used for this is worrying.

    On the other hand… yeah, fine these people: the one way to get someone’s attention in China (just as a particular example) is to take their money away from them. With people being killed over 2RMB parking charges, charging 20 RMB for crossing the street improperly is sure to get people to stand up and take notice.

    It’s a shame the government didn’t have the chutzpah to follow through with the running a yellow light rule earlier this year: statistics showed that accidents were heavily redcued – up to 30% in Shanghai.

    • Archie

      the government just had to enforce the existing rule, instead of changing it to one that was so ridiculously stupid that no other country in the world has a yellow light rule in that form.

  • Appalled@everything

    Let’s hope it is an equal measures crack-down on (among other things) buses that speed and change lanes aggressively, taxis that don’t still have seatbelts and with drivers that smoke, motorbikes that run through red lights without slowing, scooters that use the sidewalk, private cars that drive dangerously and selfishly, pedestrians who walk through red lights and don’t use the crosswalk, bicycles that ride in driver’s blind-spots, trucks that don’t slow down, don’t give way, and don’t indicate, and driver’s who don’t have license plates.
    Addressing one problem and none of the others would be an absolute waste of time.

    • Archie

      lol. bicycles that ride in drivers blind spots. how to police that? and if Chinese people bothered to head check once in a while, it wouldn’t be so necessary.

      • Appalled@everything

        Well, maybe that is not a prime example, but still, I would have thought promoting common sense and correct road safety practices would be much easier and cheaper than policing everyone who breaks the law.

        • Dr Sun

          first get cars and scooters off the sidewalks !!

          • http://www.weibowatcher.com/ WeiboWatcher.com

            fuck it, just get everyone off the streets. let’s face it, it’s the only way we’d all stop whining.

        • jeffli

          “promoting common sense” how to say that in Chinese?

          • http://twitter.com/bbukkegayo Webster

            It doesn’t exist.

    • Kate

      Scooters on side walks piss me off like no other because I’ve nearly been hit by a few in Korea. The last time, a man almost hit me and I flipped him off, and wanted to Sparta kick him off his bike. I HATE scooters…grrrrrr

      • BiggJ

        What the fuck is a sparta kick? lol Are you talking about that slow motion kick where the head sparta guy kicks the black guy down that well thing. :)

        • Hongwu Emperor

          Yes! And traffic-order operations/crackdowns surely need to go both ways, not only to the pedestrians.

  • mr.wiener

    Unfortunately the only thing sillier than some Chinese drivers are [some]Chinese pedestrians. If you have a culture of scoff-laws who do things when it suits them, you will get a system of sorts [kinda like the grammatical rules of English!] but it will be messy and inefficient.
    Hope this is a real effort to fix this, not just for revenue or face.

  • ScottLoar

    Make two simple changes to improve life for all:

    1) No turn on red
    2) Give way to pedestrians (cars, buses, anything on wheels but especially the headless horsemen riding scooters)

    • http://www.weibowatcher.com/ WeiboWatcher.com

      Are these not already rules?

      • BiggJ

        You can turn right on a red, if you stop first and there is nothing coming. Unless otherwise posted.

        • http://www.weibowatcher.com/ WeiboWatcher.com

          interesting to know. is this just a china rule, or do other countries observe this convention?

          • theelemur@gmail.com

            Right on red is legal in most (mayble all?) US states.

          • http://www.weibowatcher.com/ WeiboWatcher.com

            well i’ll be…

          • linette lee

            You can turn on red light if no cars coming in certain part of usa. The sign will tell you. You can only do so if there is a sign there saying so.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

          Yes, and that rule just makes utter utter sense, as right on red means you are merging with traffic as opposed to interrupting it.

        • Appalled@everything

          And the principle, as you described it, sounds reasonable, but apply that principle to a society and mentality that cares nothing for others, and wants only to be first, and you have millions of assholes who make crossing the road literally utterly dangerous for pedestrians.

      • ScottLoar

        Vehicles may turn on red. Vehicles do turn on red. When approaching the red light and intending to turn vehicles do not, do not, do not slacken speed but continue fast, honking pedestrians out of the way. In Shanghai a vehicle intending to turn will only stop on red if there is no alternative but to run over the pedestrian.

        Vehicles do not give way for pedestrians unless there is no alternative but to run over the pedestrian. There are even signs warning pedestrians to watch out and make way for vehicles. Pedestrians on sidewalks face the added danger of headless horsemen now on silent, electric scooters coming from before and behind.

        • Terrettgnome

          Better in Shanghai than elsewhere in China.

          • ScottLoar

            That has also been my experience. In third-tier cities the city roads have all the confusion of a crowded, farmers’ market; sometimes the roads become farmers’ markets.

  • Germandude

    Change we can believe in. Yes we can.

  • BiggJ

    Pedestrians are just as bad as car/ebike drivers. You can’t blame one or the other. They are both fucking retarded. It boils down to chinese mentality…..”Fuck you Fuck you me first”. Until that get changed, no laws or rules can change the traffic here.

  • Rick in China

    This sounds a lot like the hefty-fine for yellow light breaches that happened recently. The short-sighted implementation resulted in a HUGE mass of rear-end collisions, which resulted in the traffic police being insufficient in number to handle all the calls coming in and suddenly their departments are overrun with problems.

    This will have a similar effect: consider the side-effects of such a thing.
    1) Social unrest, angry people escalating situations beyond that of a simple 15-20 yuan fine, which leads to;
    2) Arrests, as mentioned, meaning further processing and dispute among other police/legal departments in many cases. Ripple effect in amount of work throughout whole legal process, that’s a huge % increase in fines in a couple weeks….expand it over months in an already-extremely lagged legal processing system?
    3) Congestion. Adding a single major change to a currently-normal traffic situation doesn’t decrease congestion, it increases it. Now people need to stop and be fined, obey rules sometimes but not others, all the other traffic used to the current situation has to figure out when they need to go or stop to suit the new change, etc. In the short-term, it’ll make traffic significantly worse.

    They need to start investing in proper macro-studies of situations before implementing random “that sounds good” ideas to “fix” issues in cities.

    • commander

      The governmental regulation on an individually minor but collectively massive traffic problem with some fines will draw public attention to the move’s background and desired effects that control on pedestrians walking conduct will bring out.

      Regulators’ large scale operation can be justified in that the mere campaign for traffic rule observance will not reduce pedestrians-induced congestions on roads.

      The arms twisting in the form of small fines will serve the purpose of awakening the Chinese that changes in walking on the crosswalk will make their city a more disciplined and better place, which is especially truce when pedestrians ften hit the road as drivers.

  • Jeff

    Today while riding my ebike to work I almost got hit by about 10 different cars that seem not to notice the red light for them and the green light for me. Where’s police enforcement here?

    • Chang Liu

      Is the a right turn situation? For some stupid reason they can still turn!?

      • Jeff

        No. I have a green – they have a red. But they seldom stop; instead just roll right through it.

        • Chang Liu

          Yeah I almost got run over first time I cycled in Beijing too. I was so pissed I almost smashed his windscreen.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

            See: reasons I have a dashboard cam. Go ahead and try it, I’ll get out, detain you, have the cops come and you’ll be going to jail while I drive away with a pile of your cash as compensation.

          • Chang Liu

            I would have also recorded hitting pedestrians, grannies, dogs you name it. Go ahead try it. I bet you get arrested first.

          • ScottLoar

            Harold Janson, you think you’ll get compensation if a Chinese national smashes your windscreen? After reading your comments as a driver in China I’m sure you will come to regret the day you determined to drive here. The interpretation of the law here does not wholly rest on who is at fault. It seems that accident compensation is invariably awarded to the most needy regardless of fault, and you are right in the bull’s eye.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

            Fault can be split, but you feeling slighted and destroying property ain’t an “accident”, it’s “willful destruction of property” and you are 100% liable for it. Don’t even have to bother with the police if they are unreasonable, fairly easy to sue directly. In the case of a foreigner doing it, have fun being deported.

          • ScottLoar

            When a foreigner is involved the offense will be interpreted by local custom and sentiment, not according to the letter of the law. You insist otherwise. Good luck.

            Yes, I know that when a foreigner (Swiss?) snapped off the aerial of a taxi cab in anger several years ago he was deported. You think the Chinese authorities would visit similar severity on a Chinese national who did the same to your car? I doubt it, and your interpretation of “willful destruction of property” is not necessarily how the authorities would interpret it. Surely you’ve been in China long enough to understand that, If not, then read the comments on sites like this to understand situations are interpreted to the disadvantage of the foreigner.

            “Fairly easy to sue directly”. And you think you’re going to sue and win? What!

  • wafflestomp

    “First enforce cars yielding for pedestrians.”

    Totally agree. No one stops even on conflicting green lights.

  • Big Meech

    Finally… let’s play Hau den Locust

  • Red Scarf

    Oh, 5 – 20 rmb fine, Sounds like the Chinese have caught on to money generating schemes from traffic violations as in the West.

    • aadfasd

      now all the need are quotas :)

  • MonkeyMouth

    crack down on self-entitlement and you’ve got most of this sorted. and wtf is this traffic crackdown based on pedestrians? go after the buttholes gunning their left turns,and plowing through crosswalks while turning right on red. and the mindless lane changing. and the…. and the… and the…. and the……this country has done one thing better than everyone- creating idiot drivers

  • http://www.chinasmack.com/ MrT

    About time, 20rmb is a joke, add a zero, hit them in the pocket, lock em up if they don’t pay, send em to reeducation plants.
    Better still wait for them to get to the other side and hit them with a stun gun and send em back.
    It don’t help half the kids here are being raised by their grandparents who fucked up the first time teaching their sons and daughters anything about common sense.because they have none them self’s.
    Most here are still in donkey land.

    • http://www.weibowatcher.com/ WeiboWatcher.com

      yeah, only today i watched a grandparent usher a child in to a lift, while the people who wanted to get out yet hand’t. good child rearing right there.

      • http://www.chinasmack.com/ MrT

        the other day i seen a grandmother on the back of a taxi bike, with a kid in a pram she was towing behind the taxi bike…..

        • linette lee

          That’s a died hard grandma.

  • Alphy

    See, even a small fine like 20 RMB is having affect. There are a few that would cross on red no matter what, they will be ridicule upon by the masses once everyone get in line to follow the rule. Keep enforcing traffic laws, and you will see laws being obey.

    There are so many traffic law being broken in China daily. There shouldn’t just be a crack down on pedestrians, but also cars that run red light, and those that doesn’t give right of way to pedestrians during crossing. There will be a lot of fines int he beginning, but cops and people will start to smarten up, and it will be better as a whole as a society. It’s about time they start enforcing their traffic law, and perhaps one day people of China will expect the rich and powerful to follow other laws as well.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

    The simple solution here needs to be a change in liability structure, plain and simple to be honest. If pedestrians are crossing legally through traffic and are struck, make it a 100% liability on the driver with massive compensation. If pedestrians are unlawful, shift it to a maximum of 10% driver liability only covering medical. If there’s a legal crossing within 50m (crosswalk, bridge, tunnel), it should be 0% liability with the pedestrian made liable for damage to the car as well. Make it abundantly clear that if you want to hop fences and scurry across traffic, you are free to do so at your own risk and you are entirely responsible for any consequences.

    People wander through traffic because, quite simply, there is no care for personal responsibility. Get hit? It’s the cars fault even if it’s your own.

    As far as drivers go, I would not be so draconian as to ban them as a result of an accident. But I’d definitely see putting them under a 5 year probation. Being judged at fault in an accident or exceeding 6 points on the license and ban them for life from driving. That’s it, done, car is seized and destroyed.

    Furthermore, all those electric scooters and gas scooters should be licensed and registered and fined just like any other automobile violation. Driving without a legally registered plate, license or insurance should be grounds for immediate confiscation and destruction of the vehicle and a 10,000 fine for each of those violations. If gas scooters have been banned in the city, it should also be that destruction plus a 50,000 fine to be shared by the owner of the scooter as well as the shop that sold it.

    Illegal parking, honestly annoying as all hell, but sometimes there’s simply no other option available. What China desperately needs in the cities is convenient parking structures, as well as the increased authority to start impounding for parking violations. As it stands now, I can just park anywhere I feel like, if I get a ticket, it’s honestly worth the risk. 1 ticket out of maybe 30 times parking illegally for more than an hour or so, and it’s cheap and I don’t have to deal with it till end of the year for registration renewal anyways. FURTHERMORE, they need to start revoking all the licenses of those “private parking companies” which take over the bike lanes with their parking lines. Many of them are flat out illegal, and many more are licensed due to buying the rights from the city (typical cost is 0.4RMB per spot per day, so it’s just too profitable).

    For traffic in general, things desperately need infrastructural upgrades. Lights need better timing, and major intersections need to be modified into mini-interchanges. The over/under with side roads works brilliantly when applied and there needs to be more of it. Bus routes should also be revised to some degree, they cause havoc in traffic especially when there is a stop preceding an intersection for a left turn. Personally, I’m a fan of more signals and placing the left/u turn lane on the right-side. It looks odd, but it works quite well.

    • snicker

      I’d love to agree that 2 wheelers should be better regulated, but this is a really hard one for police to win. There was an enforcement activity against unlicensed motorcycles a few weeks ago in Beijing, and the police would line up on two sides of the bike lanes and stop offenders. However, many times, the motorcycles would just speed up, aiming to hit the police if they don’t get out of the way. From the police perspective, it’s not worth their life or even their foot to get some jerk off his motorcycle (and he probably doesn’t have ID on him or money to pay a fine anyway), so they have to get out of the way. Felt sorry for those police, they were seriously in the line of fire there.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

        True, the policing method for traffic pretty much relies on compliance here. Cops are just not gonna hop in the squad car or on their motorcycle and chase you down. Not gonna happen, it’s just not worth the risk to the officer, the offender or everywhere surrounding. The only exceptions are the random checkpoints where they pull people over. However, if you have no plate to begin with… just gun it. They won’t give chase and they won’t know who you are anyways. New cars without plates basically get to run around and get away with everything for a time.

        As such, I feel that the only way to solve that problem is to make the potential penalty so huge and compliance so cheap and easy, that you’d have to be an idiot not to comply with it. And dear god, will you idiot bikers PLEASE stay in your bike lanes? There are so many instances where separated bike lanes still exist, there are no cars in them, they are there for you, and you insist on riding in the car lanes. It hurts my head every single time.

        As a driver in China, I’d honestly have to say that as bad as the Chinese pedestrians are, the foreigners are somehow even worse. Chinese might be yapping on the phone, talking to people, or whatever, but at least they continue to cross the street, even if oblivious to traffic. Foreigners… I cannot even begin to count the number of times they just stand there in the middle of traffic, ignoring everything and not moving.

        • Jahar

          3 years here and I’ve never seen a foreigner standing in the middle of traffic, ignoring everything and not moving. Nor have i seen anything remotely similar. I don’t know where you live, but in Wuhan, I’ve rarely seen foreigners break traffic laws at all.

    • maja

      still, you’re a driver and you think you are entitled to park wherever you want, I’m a pedastrian and there are situations where it doesn’t make sense for me to wait for a green light (in the middle of a traffic jam, for example).

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

        Hah, screw you… half the damn traffic jams are caused by idiot pedestrians in the first place.

        • maja

          that’s indeed an interesting perspective… so do you think that in the middle of a city pedestrians should go off of their way to create space for cars?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

            I have just seen and experienced numerous instances where there’s already a short green for cars, which is further screwed up by pedestrians who simply choose to ignore lights entirely. Resulting in a great situation where *maybe* 3 cars can get through at a time. Creating a bottleneck which increases traffic density and tends to impact other nearby intersections as well. Every single time, it has virtually nothing to do with the number of cars and it’s always something stupid. People running across the street en mass tends to do it, and the only way to stop it is to, yes, honk really loud and bear down on the idiot pedestrians… put that fear of god in them and force them to stand there and wait. Because traffic gets backed up by the idiots who just flat out refuse to try and move, waiting for pedestrians to meander their way through traffic while pissing away the green.

            You have bridges and crosswalks and tunnels, is it too much to ask that you use them?

            Should pedestrians go out of their way to create space for cars? I’m saying respect the fact that I’m driving around in a great big metal cage that can kill you with a flick of my foot and act accordingly. Until you do that, I reserve the right to bear down on you, blind you with my brights, honk endlessly at you, splash you with whatever excess substance is in the road and run over things you drop on accident. If that counts as “going out of your way”, then so be it. And if you absolutely *must* dart across traffic, I request only a few things:
            1) You utilize both of those eyes in your head to judge distance and speed to maintain a proper speed in getting across without impeding traffic.
            2) You pay attention to ALL the lights at an intersection to see if you are going to be impeding traffic.

            Your right to not give a fuck ends the instant that little green man turns red.

          • maja

            still we’re talking about urban settlements, not freeways. anyways I don’t know where you live, but IF there is a brigde or a tunnel I actually see people, mysef included, using them a lot… and the same stands true for public transport.

  • LaoShu

    Ah so civilized se mosserland…

  • vincent

    For the love of God a simple solution would be to build more friggin overpasses as suggested in the translated comments, people wouldn’t have to wait and no one would get killed by a shithead who can’t drive yet has a license to.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Harold-Janson/100000792053950 Harold Janson

      You’d think that… but you’d be wrong. I’ve seen well designed overpasses complete with escalators that are entirely ignored for the thrill of running across traffic and jumping over fences.

    • xiaohouzi

      The problem with pedestrian overpasses is that no one wants to use them. The only way i would use one is if it had a functioning escalator. Why should pedestrians have to climb up so many stairs because of traffic? Pedestrians have been around far longer than cars. The traffic police should focus more on the traffic. Find ways to make cities more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. They should also ticket the bastards who think sidewalks are parking lots so people don’t have to walk in the fucking street.

  • Chang Liu

    I don’t understand why every traffic police department don’t do this. Aside from doing their jobs its handy way to get some extra income. Everybody wins.

    • http://twitter.com/21tigermike Michael A. Robson

      Since the cops themselves don’t get the cash, they don’t win. Also, they don’t care. They’d rather take a nap. As they say in China, 不要理会.

      • Chang Liu

        I am SURE the cops will find a way, don’t you worry.

  • Xiu

    TL:DR… is this a crackdown on pedestrians crossing? What the hell!… how about 1st deal with all the traffic that runs red lights… teaching those ebike tards to look before entering traffic… teaching people that queuing does indeed save time in the long run… teaching queue jumpers to not jump queues if they are only going to go slowly after exiting said queue… The last one gets right on my tits…. people jumping queues, only to go at a snails pace afterwards, blocking the people who were in front of them to begin with…. arrrgh!

  • Brett

    I say send all the chengguan to beat the crap out of jaywalkers and knock people off of bikes driving on the sidewalks. People will learn really fast. Manpower problem solved.

    • Dr Sun

      have you seen the chengguan on their scooters riding the sidewalks, just asking ?

  • Sinognome

    It’s the not looking where they’re going that bothers me and that seems to be true of the majority of road users here. I had to pay a bloke 85 kuai because he rode his bike into my friend’s scooter and fell over. It seems like an intentional scam but I think he genuinely just wasn’t looking where he was going. Must’ve been about 50, how’s he lived that long not looking where he’s riding? Equally baffling is why the police said we had to pay the bloke when it was HIS fault…s’pose they want hit and run victims instead?

    • ScottLoar

      I think your friend had to pay the money because the injured was thought most needy regardless of fault.

      I can’t prove so but it seems to me from watching legal cases on tv shows like 法律與道德 that compensation is invariably awarded to the most needy regardless of fault. By example, a truck backing out of a construction site ran over an unwary pedestrian who although judged mostly at fault still was awarded compensation from the truck driver and more from the construction company. I think such awards are like potlatches, ceremonies whereby the rich give to the poor, leveling disparities.

  • Foreign Devil

    great news! All traffic needs to be enforced at the same time. Not just pedestrians. It CAN be done. If they can control internet for a billion people. . this should be easy to do as well. The fines will more than pay for the labor. It will be a great day when I can cross on a green light without having to look around in fear of left turning cars or scooters driving into me.

  • 5000 years of history

    You don’t understand our culture.

  • radbab

    > First enforce cars yielding for pedestrians.
    This guy got my full support. Then again it’s less likely that the pedestrian is some party honcho than the guy int he back audi. And it’s much easier for the cops to be chasing pedestrians than cars.

  • linette lee

    ok…at least they have to start with something small. Start with jay walking first. Then driving. Then illegal street vendor. Then inspections on restaurants…. so go……

    I am still waiting for china gov’t to set up anti corruption department to clean house. WHEN?????

  • linette lee

    China needs to do TV shows educating people about jay walking and public littering and so on. They need to promote them on TV daily so kids in china can watch it and learn at young age.

    • 5,000 years of uncivilization

      Totally agree. A most effective way to do would be to use very unnattractive actors, behaving like retards whilst jay walking, littering, spitting and all things uncivilized. When the viewers see that, not only will it shame some into being more civilized but it will entertain as well.

  • PixelPulse

    Everybody has to start somewhere, hopefully this will go in the right direction that leads to better traffic control and what-not, ideally without anybody getting beat up on either sides.

  • coldraindrops

    I cannot wait for China to become “civilized” and emerge from its money-centric mentality. This is a step in the right direction, but who knows how effective it will be.

    • nintendo-nerd

      Yes, because China is more evil than USA, a country that accused Iraq of having/developing weapons of mass destruction, then to go on to rape, bomb, butcher and kill over a million innocent civilians. Oh gosh, got me there.. China is so evil, aren’t they?

      • http://simplydesigned.tumblr.com/ maybeabanana

        Thank you for recognizing!!

      • coldraindrops

        If you look at my original comment, you’ll see I make no mention of China being “evil,” so I really don’t see how your reply relates to it in any way. In order for China to improve, you have to recognize and admit the problems it has.

    • Dr Sun

      As Lord Hesiltine said just today the British people are now “so rich” they have lost their will, resolve and vision, we must learn from this and how tomorrow all the British will give up their cars by sending them at their own expense to the developing world, hand over their property deeds to the depectecons – ops already done and that they all put their money in the banks in Cyprus.
      Coldraindrops will of course be the first to post publicly his financial transcripts on the internet that he has become “civilized” and none- money-centetric and has done this.

      • coldraindrops

        If you have a reasonable idea of the current culture in China, I’m sure you understand that the current “money-centric” attitute I refer has taken a toll on values of morality in the country. http://www.chinapost.com.tw/commentary/the-china-post/special-to-the-china-post/2011/10/21/320502/Moral-void.htm

        • Dr Sun

          If you had even a minor idea about Doism and confucianism and Chinese morality you wouldn’t post such gibberish.

          • coldraindrops

            You realize we are talking about the present Dr.Sun, not 17th century China. Why are you pointing to Daoism as a source of morality when less than 3 percent of China’s population practices it? The vast majority of Chinese today are not religious

          • Dr Sun

            oh gosh, ok…..

            How many people in the west practice Christianity daily, go to church every sunday?

            Yeah your right the Bible, the ten commandments have no moral relevance in the west today.

            modern morality in both asia and the west was written in the 1930’s by lets say Rockefeller, everything before from Socrates to J.S.Mill is gone, trashed- forgotten and irrelevant..

          • coldraindrops

            Dr Sun, of course there’s relevance, there’s absolutely zero doubt about that. But you have to realize that the degree of relevance of religion in America and in China is vastly different. Do I really need to give you examples to illustrate this??

  • TJDubs

    The idea is not a bad one, but the name they’re using, “Chinese style street crossing”, accurate or not, doesn’t seem like a good choice here. This goes against the patriotism that the government often cultivates and takes advantage of, for example, to put on a good demonstration in front of the Japanese Embassy. If you want to discourage negative behavior, don’t insult the nationality of your own people. Just leave nationality out of it altogether.

    PS – If you think Chinese style street crossing is bad, you’ve never seen Egyptian style.

  • La Mano Gaucha

    While they’re at it, they should also start enforcing right-of-way.

    • Dr Sun

      meaning what, an army plate, a Govt plate a police plate, (a black plate) we already know they they are untouchable and have the right of way ?

  • Fban

    If you wait for a bit will you not arrive where you’re going? Stop complaining. Correct yourself first. What is the meaning of red light? And green light didn’t you learn that at primary school? Why some if you can’t accept that simple rules?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=22624249 Sean Cauffiel

    It’s about damn time.

  • andrewfx51

    Needs to be like Singapore – in so many ways.
    – Jack up registration fees
    – Higher fines
    – Actually enforce them – especially to the fu’erdai and other cronies

  • wyodoodoyw

    Driver’s with Chinese-style driving + Pedestrians without Chines-style of crossing the street = Pedestrians not being able to go anywhere.

  • Dude

    In a country with so many people like China, isn’t is common sense to follow simple traffic rules? Why do people need to be taught this, I knew this when I was 5 years old. It’s simple, Red = Stop, Green = Go…how hard is that?

  • britinchina

    The lights in China really need changing. I am a British national and I drive here in Shanghai. It’s confusing when I’m given the green light to turn left to only encounter a wall of pedestrians as I join the left road. This idea is alien to me, back home all cars stop for pedestrians, because it’s safer and it makes more sense. Another observation I made about this article is the policeman writing the ticket for the young woman in the fourth picture. If you’re trying to promote road safety and abiding by the laws, then surely the police officer should conduct himself as an example of this. It seems crazy to me to write a ticket for the offence and then stand in the middle of the road to issue it… really loses the point of the whole exercise for me!! Surely it would have been safer to take her back onto the footpath and issued it to her there, or am I thinking ‘safety’ too much?

  • senor boogie woogie

    This is Hangzhou where the city bus and the taxis are too stop in front of a crossing pedestrian and it doesn’t matter where the crossing is. This rule was put into place because some jerk kid hot rodded his car down a busy city street and ran over a pedestrian.

    I am an American, but I will cross the street like a Chinese. I try to be careful, but if you know the flow of the traffic and not be a fool, there is no problems. Been here 12 years this month and have not been killed yet. I also have not seen the traffic cops with the big stupid signs either.

    In China for stuff like this, there is a public awareness and a crackdown of sorts and then after about a week, things go back to normal and everyone does what everyone does. I will say that they are probably doing a lot more enforcement on traffic laws and stopping drunk drivers. BUT….in Zhejiang, you can be as drunk as you want and drive as long as you do not hit someone or kill yourself.

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