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When it comes to driving, do Chinese drivers lack ethics in comparison with their counterparts in North Amercian?
I finished my postgraduate study in Canada the year before last year and returned to China. Last December, I bought a 锐志 sedan.
As a driver with seven years' experience, Here, I would like to share with you my personal experience at home and abroad.
In my mind, drivers from both countries differs most in the ehic rules they observe. In China, there's practically no driving ethic rules.
The biggest difference is the whole idea of driving--while in Canada it's "You go first", it's "let me go first" in China.
Many times as I was crossing roads in Canda, the vehicle would always stop with at least 30 meters distance in-between, and then starteds moving after I completely passed by. At the beginning, I felt a little embarrased, and decided to waited it pass first when the person in the car waved at me to ask me pass first. I felt quite well after I got used to it, and since then walked across roads without out the least worry.
Later, when I bought a car in Canada, I did the same thing to other peole. The waiting isn't long for me at all. When I watched people passing safely, I felt quite comfortable.
If the crossing is without any traffic light, Canadians will bring their cars to a full stop(no matter there's a stop sign or not), and watch if there's any car coming. If there is, and wave towards the cars on the right, the car heading for the same direction goes in turn. By doing this, I have never met any conggestion at the crossings. While in Beijing, it's a common sceen to see so many cars are jammed because of two cars clogged at the crossings.(不会开汽车，这段看不太懂,不好意思)
It's rarely seen that people use horns or flash their car lights. It's viewed as very ill-mannered, and uneducated behavior. One of my friends in LA once told me that a horn or flashing lights would often lead to a physical conflict. Because it's an act of provoking. Even black people and Mexicans won't do that either.
Last year, I went on a business trip to LA, and had a "hands-on" experience. The number of vehicles in LA is several times as much as that in Beijing. Ironically, I saw no traffic jam, even in rush hour. One of the most well-known road is Driving Pool, which is the inner most lane. It means "If there're two persons or more in one car, you can use the Driving Pool, if there's only a driver, you can only use the other road next to it. This rule is based on science and human-oriented. The effects are quite obvious. It aims to encourage more people to share one car so as to relief the traffic burdern. There's no such thing as "privilege road",or any police car that pressing horns to force you to give your way. When I was driving in Beijing, I was enraged and even wanted to start a fight with them when I was horned at to give way at the sound of the horn of a police car. Why do they feel privilliged? They are paid by our tax payers.
it is on the first night after I returned to China. My friends greeted me at HouHai. Sitting in a friend's car, My friend made a left turn at the crossing with a swing of his hands on the steering wheel.. The upcoming big truck rumbled past us with a narrow escape. I'm so frightened that I let out a loud cry of fear. My friends mocked at me, saying how I could become chicken after only a short stay abroad? I didn't know what to say. At a bar we picked, my folks and I drunk a lot, because they were showing their capacity of drinking and more importantly their hospitality, If I refused to drink, I would be thought as not "giving their face". And after that, we drove all the same. In Canada, it's also allowed to drive after drinking alcohol, but there is a upper limit, which is about any equavelant of two cups of beers---because it's the result from a research that under such limit, people can remain sober and keep their cars well under their control.
The other day, I saw a foreigner on crosswalk, trying to cross the road. His several attemps failed apparently because of the whistling vehicles passing by like wind one by one. I am quite upset because at the sight, cannot stop thinking about how would I feel if he's one of my parents. I think he also can feel rest assured when crossing the roads in his country. What keeps worrying me even more is what he will say when he go back to his coutry about the crazy traffic condition and those crazy drivers.
It's also worth mentioning that all vehicles in Canada on the roads have their lights on regardless of its being daytime or night time while on road(the setting seeems to be unable to be changed, under the government laws). I'm confused at first and asked my classmate. My classmate said the govenment conducted a study, from which they found with the lights always turned on,the possibility of car accidents would be effectively reduce . Since the implementation of such rule, the accident rate dropped at a rate of 20% each year.
There's another time after I return when I was taking a taxi . I gussed the driver in the opposite direction forgot to turn off the light. It really caught people's eyes, and indeed caught our attention. However, the taxi driver immediately jeered at him, saying "Stupid, what a waste of electricity"
In Beijing or in other parts of China, Driving means "cutting in" unless you don't want to move, let alone be criticized by a barrage of horns and a dazzeling of flashing. After a while of the return. I gradually picked up the old habit I had before going abraod, and join the ranks of horning, flashing lights, and not giving way to pedestrian. Just thinking of it made me so embarrassed in my heart
Is it really a difficult thing to give way to pedestrian or other cars with waving and modesty? Of course not. most of car owners are highly educated. It's nothing more than a rule, which happens to be more scientific, a rule that can help us eliminate congestion, jams. The congestion of a whole road is always caused by the "no one should give in" attitude. It seems our country fellows have already get used to this highly efficiency costing issue.
[ Last edited by hly2008 at 2006-12-31 12:32 AM ]