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A China Travel Tip That Could Save Your Life

Will that car stop for you? Unlikely.

Will that car stop for you in beautiful Shanghai? Unlikely.

You know that Green Walking Man icon that indicates (in most countries in the world) that it is safe for pedestrians to cross the road at a designated crosswalk, because oncoming cars must stop?

Take this China travel tip and save a life: In China, the Green Walk Signal actually means… absolutely nothing.

Unfailingly, in the two weeks I traveled through China, I would start to stride across the crosswalk, the Green Walk Light beckoning me calmingly forward… when suddenly: SCREECH! Four cars and two electric-powered bikes would come careening across the crosswalk and nearly plow me over, as if no walk signal existed at all!

I would take to screaming at them: “GREEN! GREEN, PEOPLE, GREEN! GREEN MEANS IT’S SAFE FOR ME TO WALK!” But this protest was akin to screaming at a pile of metal: useless.

In sum: Do NOT rely on the walk signals in China for safely, travelers! Maybe in the future the government will crack down on traffic laws, but for now, tell yourself that Green and Red signals mean the same: Proceed with a TON of caution.

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sandy yau

Monday 12th of January 2015

WOW!!!! You should be more careful next time. China is really crazy. I've been there before. They don't care about the walk lights. In China, the city is really busy and crowded. Many people come from the villages or hometown. They move to China to find a job to feed their family. You must pay attention and be careful next time!!

Lillie

Monday 12th of January 2015

Will do!

Agness

Sunday 26th of January 2014

Nobody cares about the traffic lights in China. I ride my bike here every day and I pray not to be hit by a motorbike or lorry. It's crazy!

Dave

Thursday 5th of April 2012

That is definitely a concern. Thanks for the heads up.

Fiona P

Saturday 21st of January 2012

They probably won't crack down on the rules.

Ryan Sum

Wednesday 21st of December 2011

Yep I remember that yep those were the days.

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