A Travellerspoint blog

July 7, 2011

Crazy Traffic

Thursday July 7, 2011

Traffic in Suzhou, and in China generally is not to be confused with US traffic. If you want to get your heart rate up, keep your eyes open while driving. Add the non-stop honking, and it is another new adventure everyday!

We have a 15 passenger van pick us up every morning at 7:30, just in time for the morning rush hour. There are trucks, busses, taxis, cars, vans, bikes, motor scooters, pedestrians, tour busses, and tons of construction vehicles cause they are doing roadwork, all trying to get around. There are traffic lights, one-way streets, and lines on the roads, but they are generally ignored by everyone. It is survival of the fittest, and the bigger the vehicle, the more power they have in getting their way. Today our van driver finally yielded to someone, it was a huge dump truck, otherwise he generally moves in on them.

He is a very aggressive driver. Because of the construction he has usually driven a ways down the road, then has pulled in front of oncoming traffic to do a U-turn, to get back and be able to turn right. But today, he decided to head down a one-way road. It was quite the rush! I suppose because we are bigger, the car that was coming stopped and let us through. Everyone on the bus was cheering!

And the pedestrians, watch out, cause you do not have the right of way! Cars will cut off people all the time. There have been near misses, but the surprising thing is that people don’t get mad. There is not any road rage here. And very few accidents. In fact, I have only seen one accident, and it was a fender bender. The people involved were not even upset.

We saw our first bike helmet today. It was a Pizza Hut delivery boy riding a motor scooter and delivering pizza. Must be company policy or something, cause that’s the first helmet I have seen. There are anywhere from 1-5 people on a motor scooter. We saw one day, a kid in front and in back of a dad, then the mother holding a kid off to the side of the motorcycle. And what would happen to the kid if a car would get to close to them on the side? I can’t imagine!

You can see ladies wearing dresses and high heels riding a motor scooter. They like to wear a men’s shirt worn backwards, probably to protect their clothes from bugs? People with children riding behind or in front of them. Motor scooters carrying large pieces of plywood, or groceries.

I would never be able to drive here. I’m just not aggressive enough, and would probably hold up the traffic while I sat there and waited my turn, which would never come!

Posted by dianeski4 00:11

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