Today while preparing for one of my classes, this time on law, I found the snippet on a great many websites saying that in China:

Drivers of power-driven vehicles are forbidden to stop at pedestrian crossings or they risk a 5RMB fine.

Now, I have a Chinese driver's license and I remember in the test that you must stop at a pedestrian crossing if there are pedestrians using it. However, the common practice in China is to not stop for anything - just blow the horn and swerve through the gaps.

So my question is, was there ever any basis to the above law quote forbidding you to stop? Did such a law exist before or is it all just a fabrication or urban myth?

  • 1
    Chinese don't strike me as a people that would paint pedestrian crossings that serve no purpose (well, one could say they'd serve as designated kill zones, but that still seems a bit silly). – kotekzot May 8 '12 at 14:12
  • 6
    Looks like bad translation. Rules in most of the world prohibit stopping on the crossing, car must yield to the pedestrians stopping before the crossing. – vartec May 8 '12 at 14:56

According to Wikipedia, recent (2004) Chinese road laws now dictate:

Under the new law, when accidents occur between pedestrians or non-motorised vehicles and motor vehicles, except for the case where the pedestrian or the non-motorised vehicle deliberately causes the incident, the motorist must always bear responsibility. Responsibility for the motorist is reduced if the pedestrian or non-motorised side violated traffic laws.

It references the new law (written in Chinese). Using the translation given in this question, we get:

Article 47: When a motor vehicle vehicle passes through a crosswalk, it should proceed at reduced speed; in the case when a pedestrian is crossing the crosswalk, the vehicle should stop and yield to the pedestrian.

As one might expect, it seems clear that the original claim is false.

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  • 2
    I have asked for it on our Chinese SE. :) – Alenanno May 8 '12 at 16:47
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    Not really answering the question. I am aware of the existing regulations having sat the Chinese driving test myself. The question is, was there ever, in the past, a rule such as quoted above? – Rincewind42 May 8 '12 at 23:20

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