I list a few examples of this suicidal behavior:
- Oncoming traffic has a left turn signal. Cyclists will go straight and skirt these fast-moving turning trucks and buses. And they will do this in rush hour!
- Drivers will make left turns from the the right lane.
- Pedestrians will run in front of buses, counting on the fact that the buses will slow down.
- Cyclists will drive the wrong way down Freeways.
- Drivers will not stop at uncontrolled intersections.
- Drivers will cut off each other within inches to get ahead.
- I have seen pedestrians walk and forget to look at the pedestrian traffic signal.
- et cetera....
That is the way I thought, but then I heard stories about the horsemen of the steppes. I was listening to a podcast recently from a series called Hardcore History (look for it on i-tunes) and it told stories of the incredible feats of these horsemen -- they could do things on a horse beyond all boundaries of safety and prudence that a Westerner like me has. Could you imagine being able to hang onto the neck of a horse and shoot arrows accurately at 200m? I couldn't. And yet these horsemen were able to do it.
Thinking of these ancient feats, I realize I should give the drivers and cyclists of China a break. They are on another planet that the limitations of my imagination would never have taken me if I hadn't listened to that podcast. I continue to talk of the things the Chinese do in traffic -- but I will see them as incredible feats.