Traffic laws, what is traffic laws ?

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19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
If you think rush-hour traffic in many cities are bad, you're lucky you're not in Saigon. Traffic jams in Saigon, mostly bikes very few cars. This is how you cross the street in Saigon, you ignore motorbikers and they ignore you. Lower left corner had some bikers attempted to go against traffic. A bike can carry ton of stubs and people too. Who needs an SUV in Saigon ?
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The next time you're sitting in gridlock traffic on the Kennedy Expressway, just turn up the radio, take a deep breath and be thankful you're not in Ho Chi Minh City(Formerly Saigon). According to a global traffic study released earlier this year by the navigation company, TomTom, Chicago motorists spent 114 hours sitting in traffic jams last year. That's the equivalent of nearly five days — a long time to spend in a car going nowhere. Now, imagine that kind of gridlock when everyone's driving a motorbike — 7 million of them. A red light, for instance, does not necessarily mean stop. It's merely a suggestion. It doesn't even mean you have to slow down, as long as the driver in front of you is still moving. What it does seem to mean is that you get to stay with the flow of traffic, even though it's not actually flowing.
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No matter how well you think you can maneuver rush-hour traffic on Lake Shore Drive, you'd be like a kid on a tricycle on the streets of Saigon. Of course, there are rules of the road. But in Vietnam, they clearly are meant to be broken. There are plenty of lawbreakers behind the wheel in Chicago, too, but in Saigon it's harder to find anyone who actually follows the law. A turn signal? What's that?
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A single lane doesn't mean what it implies. Vietnamese drivers seem to think it's a waste of space to allow only one motorbike in a narrow lane at a time. There should always be at least two, and if there is room for two, there's probably room for four. If space isn't obvious, don't stop to rethink it. Just toot your horn and squeeze your way in. By the way, everyone ignores one-way street signs. There's no right side or wrong side of the road, so a motorbike could be gaining on you from either direction, even on the shoulders.
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On the highway, passing, whether you have a clear path or not, is not only recommended, it's required. That is, if you expect to get anywhere in a somewhat reasonable amount of time. It's perfectly acceptable to dart in and out of traffic and come within inches of colliding with a taxi, a bus or a truck. Just remember to honk your horn when doing so. There are no limits, apparently, to the amount of stuff you can carry on a motorbike. Furniture, large water bottles and animals — live or slaughtered — were common. But the prize goes to the man who pulled up at a street market with about 30 crates of eggs piled onto the back of his bike. He hadn't broken a single one.
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The helmet situation, by the way, is a little odd. Adults and children over the age of 6 must wear a helmet. They used to require that everyone, even infants, wear a helmet. But parents complained that the helmets were too heavy on the children's necks. They figured it was better — and safer — to just squeeze the kid in between the adults. And parking? For the most part, it's nonexistent. You just pull your bike over and leave it among maybe 50 others in front of a store. But make sure the shop has a security person to watch over it. Otherwise, someone will snatch it almost as soon as your feet touch the ground.
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Walking? Forget about it. That's for tourists who forgot to reserve a cyclo. And, of course, for people like me who thought that vacationing in Vietnam would be perfect for racking up 10,000 steps a day on my Fitbit. The first time I tried to cross an intersection, I froze in terror. The tour guide had to come back to get me, warning that stopping, even for a moment, would mean sudden death. Raising a hand, motioning for drivers to slow down is useless. Everybody is either talking on the phone or texting. The trick, the tour guide explained, is to keep your head straight and keep walking, even as the motorbikes plow toward you. And by some miracle, it works. Just when the motorbike is close enough for you to reach out and touch it, it stops. Most of the time.
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Just in case you still can't get up enough nerve to walk across, there are friendly "street-crossing police" standing by at some of the intersections most frequented by tourists to offer a hand. Oddly enough, there were fewer people killed in traffic in the entire country of Vietnam last year than the nearly 1,000 who died in the city of Chicago alone. About 700 people were killed in traffic in Vietnam and another 3,000 were injured, and most of those occurred at night. Maybe that's because it's almost impossible to drive a motorbike over 20 mph in that kind of gridlock. Then again, maybe the Vietnamese are much better drivers than they appear to be.
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/colum...506-column.html
 
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Messages
13,616
Location
Frisco, TX
I'm also willing to bet you have far fewer distracted pedestrians. I can't even begin to count how many people are face-down in their [censored] cell phones while crossing the street (or even walking down the sidewalk). I do see people routinely walk into obstacles or get honked at for almost stepping in front of taxis. I make it a point to never take my phone out of my pocket while I'm walking unless it is an emergency.
 
Messages
7,485
Location
S California
In many Asian countries they have a solution to traffic and pedestrian crossings. In cases where there is someone hit in a crosswalk the pedestrian is often charged with a crime. Pedestrians have the right of way but they are held responsible for their own safety. Evidently in some of these cities it's illegal for a pedestrian to get hit by a bicycle, moped, motorcycle, car, truck or bus. It's a turnabout that is very effective.
 
Messages
5,539
Location
NJ
I've been to China a few times and the rules there are very interesting. It's a different type of driving, for sure. Out on the highways, the rules are similar to ours but people drive much slower. In the cities... the rules are less defined but still there. Basically, don't be a dick. That's the rule. You have to drive fairly slow because people will just pull out in front of you. You don't own the road. You don't have right of way. You have to share the road. People beep to you let you know they are pulling out and you slow down or hit them. Beep and go. No one looks or yields. No one is upset that you pulled out in front of them and they had to hit the brakes. It's pretty scary!
 

HTSS_TR

Thread starter
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: Leo99
I've been to China a few times and the rules there are very interesting. It's a different type of driving, for sure. Out on the highways, the rules are similar to ours but people drive much slower. In the cities... the rules are less defined but still there. Basically, don't be a dick. That's the rule. You have to drive fairly slow because people will just pull out in front of you. You don't own the road. You don't have right of way. You have to share the road. People beep to you let you know they are pulling out and you slow down or hit them. Beep and go. No one looks or yields. No one is upset that you pulled out in front of them and they had to hit the brakes. It's pretty scary!
If 99.9% of people don't know or don't care about rules then it is absolute chaos. In that situation you just go with the flow and hope for the best, if you want to cross the street you just walk without looking, somehow motorkikers will avoid hitting you the last second. What is amazing is in this absolute chaos condition only 7xx people killed in vehicle accident a year in the whole country.
 
Messages
1,466
Location
Nowhere NM
When I drove in Saigon I would rather have no brakes than no horn. That was in 1968-69 and a whole different ball game. Can't say I miss it. Smoky
 
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6,573
Location
New England
In the United States many folks feel very entitled to use the road space their own. My lane, my space the other guy is wrong, he cut me off etc. Many countries I have travelled it seems like the road is shared and if someone decides to pass on a two way road the other vehicles simply move to edge of road as they can fit three vehicles. Less entitlement factor. The entitlement factor is really bothersome with folks who drive at lower speeds because they can and not let traffic pass that queues behind becuase they are right. Leads to frustration and poor driving..
 
Messages
2,169
Location
Massachusetts
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The entitlement factor is really bothersome with folks who drive at lower speeds because they can and not let traffic pass that queues behind becuase they are right. Leads to frustration and poor driving.
Works both ways. I don't like it when I'm on a highway and I'm passing someone and inevitably another vehicle zooms up onto my bumper and starts flashing his lights as if I should drive 80 like he is in order to pass quicker. Yes, I pull right over once I'm by another vehicle, but if someone is traveling at or slightly above the limit others shouldn't expect him to drive even faster.
 
Messages
10,090
Location
OH
Originally Posted By: madRiver
The entitlement factor is really bothersome with folks who drive at lower speeds because they can and not let traffic pass that queues behind becuase they are right. Leads to frustration and poor driving..
The entitlement thing works both ways. In IL people seem to think they have a right to speed, tailgate, get in front of every other driver on the road, and doing all of this while texting...
 
Messages
2,352
Location
Juno Beach FL
Face it, a good chunk of drivers in the US feel entitled. They drive fast cars with lots of creature comforts and figure that gives them the rights to plow ahead, tailgate if the driver up front is not going fast enough, to exceed speed limits, roll through stop signs, cheat at red lights, etc.
 

HTSS_TR

Thread starter
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
Originally Posted By: madRiver
In the United States many folks feel very entitled to use the road space their own. My lane, my space the other guy is wrong, he cut me off etc. Many countries I have travelled it seems like the road is shared and if someone decides to pass on a two way road the other vehicles simply move to edge of road as they can fit three vehicles. Less entitlement factor. The entitlement factor is really bothersome with folks who drive at lower speeds because they can and not let traffic pass that queues behind becuase they are right. Leads to frustration and poor driving..
Somehow the drivers and pedestrians know what the others want to do and they avoid the accident by moving out of the way. I saw a video of 6-7 ways roundabout without traffic signal, hundreds bicycles got in and out without an accident, they didn't move at very high speed probably about 15-20 mph, but somehow they know others intend(without turn signal) so they moved to the empty space just right to avoid hitting one another.
 
Messages
695
Location
Upstate NY
Originally Posted By: Smokescreen
The one pic of the parent wearing the helmet, but none the kids have one....nice. So glad I live where I do.
I see this on bicycles here all the time, except it's the kids with the helmet. I guess the parents want orphans here, and want to get rid of their kids over there. How about both with helmets instead ?
 
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