U-Turn on Tough Traffic Light Law

john  —  February 9, 2013


Dri­ving in China is more haz­ardous and dan­ger­ous than almost any other place in the world. Mainly for two rea­sons: firstly 80% of car own­ers are first time dri­vers. So they don’t have expe­ri­ence and road sense that we grow up with in the west. Sec­ondly: most dri­vers ignore the traf­fic rules and reg­u­la­tions because they don’t agree with them and the penal­ties are low and not enforced.

How­ever, this was set to change in the New Year when the gov­ern­ment intro­duced new laws. This would mean tighter restric­tions and tougher penal­ties to reduce traf­fic fatal­i­ties and make the roads safer. The most con­tro­ver­sial new law stated that if you jumped an “amber” light you would get a six point penalty on your license. Which is the same penalty for jump­ing a red light, so if you did it twice you would lose your license.

How­ever, there has been so much oppo­si­tion from dri­ver that the gov­ern­ment has caved in and sus­pend this new law. As some­one who have dri­ven in China for sev­eral years I agree with this new law and think it should have remained. It may be harsh but at present when dri­vers see amber traf­fic lights they just speed up try­ing to get passed before it turns red. An amber light in China means “drive faster”, whereas in the west in means slow down and dri­vers do. At the end of the day any­thing that can cut speed­ing cars and make the roads safer has to be good for everyone.

(Blog posted by Ray on January 8, 2013. You can see the original article by following this link to rayallychina.com)