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)