Saturday, November 11, 2006

Car drivers with bikers' mind

China's economy has been booming. The number of private cars and taxis has also increased, slowly replacing bicycles - although there's no question that there are still loads of bicycles in China. China has become a great place for business. Perhaps to be specific, hospital or traffic-accident emergency service business.

My experience spending three days in Shanghai was horrible, both for taxi-ride and crossing the streets. I don't know what the statistics is for traffic-related accidents in China, but I would imagine it's relatively quite high. Most people disobey traffic signs and, even worse, traffic lights when turning. Not only the car drivers, but also the bicycle riders too. I suspect the change of transportation means (from bicycles to cars) are not followed by the mind and attitudes.

Sounds of car horns and bicycle bells are continuous throughout the day. It seems that the drivers/riders assume the other 'parties' (i.e. other cars or bicycles for car drivers, and other bicycles and pedestrians for the bicycle riders) have been warned by such sound that they must give way.

Looking right and left before crossing the street is not enough. It must be a constant check until you reach the other side of the street. Riding a taxi is as stressful. Make sure the taxi has good seat belts and something for you to hold on.

If I live in Shanghai, I could become an alcoholic in my first month just because the high stress level...