#128: 中国的交通问题

孔子说:“良药苦口利于病,忠言逆耳利于行。”也就是说:药虽然不好喝,但是可以带来健康;有些话虽然不好听,但是可以帮助我们变得更好。既然孔子都这么说了,那我们就放下面子,一起找找良药。今天我就说说中国的交通问题。

中国人有一个很不好的毛病,就是过马路的时候不看红绿灯。特别是在一些小城市里,人们很容易忽略红绿灯。即使红灯亮着,也有人会直接穿过马路。这样的行为就叫做“闯红灯”。闯红灯,当然很危险。所以,你要对自己负责,不要学习错误的行为。

在中国,汽车是不会让人的。汽车经过斑马线的时候一般不减速,直接开过去。所以在中国,斑马线几乎是没有意义的。如果你走在斑马线上,挡住了汽车的路,司机会按喇叭,让你走开。这明显是很不礼貌的。这个时候,你只能退后,然后看一看左右,确定没有汽车了,才可以走过去。有一次我回国开车,前方斑马线上有老人在走路,我试着在斑马线前停下来。可是后面的司机简直要疯了,不停地按喇叭,也有人从两边超车过去。于是,老人也走不了,我也动不了,造成了堵车。我好心做了坏事。让人哭笑不得。

中国人开车,还会常常按喇叭,导致城市里面很吵闹。晚上开车的时候,很多人会开着远光灯,让对面的司机眼睛很难受。但是中国人习惯了这些问题,即使是在驾驶学校里面,教练也常常做一些错误的示范。因为这些问题,中国的交通比较混乱。难怪写了中国三部曲的何伟(Peter Hessler)一定要考中国驾照,然后自己开车,因为他担心,坐中国人开的车会比较危险。

对于这些问题,你怎么看?如果你遇到了这些问题,会怎么做呢?你会对中国朋友说什么?

Confucius said: “Good medicine tastes bitter but is good for sickness, good advice is harsh on the ears but good for one’s well being.” What he’s saying is: although medicine doesn’t taste good, it can bring about healthiness; although some words don’t sound good, they can help us become better. Since Confucius said it like this, then let’s set aside our feelings, and look for some good medicine together. Today I am going to discuss China’s traffic problem.

People have one very bad fault, which is not paying attention to traffic lights when crossing the road. This is especially true in some smaller cities, where people are very likely to ignore the traffic lights. Even though the light is red, there are still people who will cross the road without waiting. This kind of behavior is called “running a red light.” Of course, running a red light is very dangerous. And so, you should take responsibility for yourself and avoid learning wrong behaviour.

In China, cars don’t ever give way to people. When cars drive through zebra-crossings they don’t usually slow down, but just drive straight through. So in China, zebra-crossings have almost no meaning. If you are walking across a zebra-crossing and have blocked a car’s path, the driver is likely to blow the horn to make you get out of the way. This is obviously very impolite. At these times all you can do is back up, then look both ways to make sure there are no cars. And only then can you walk across. One time when I came back from abroad and was driving my car, an elderly person was walking on the zebra-crossing in front of me. I tried stopping at the zebra-crossing, but the the driver behind me simply went crazy and endlessly blew his horn. There were also people passing me on both sides. And so, the elderly person still couldn’t go, and I couldn’t move, and brought about a traffic jam. With my good intentions I had made things worse. (This situation) makes one not know whether to laugh or cry.

When driving, Chinese will also often blow their horn, causing the inner-cities to be very noisy. When diving at night, many people will have their lights on high-beam, making it difficult for the eyes of the driver in front to bear. But Chinese people are used to these problems, and even at driving school, the instructor will often show them the wrong way to do some things. Because of these problems, Chinese traffic is rather chaotic. It’s no wonder that the writer of a trilogy of books on China, Héwěi (Peter Hessler) decided he must take the Chinese driver’s license test then drive himself, because he was worried that being a passenger in a car driven by a Chinese person might be even more dangerous.

What is your opinion in regard to these problems? If you encountered these problems, what would you do? What would you say to a Chinese friend?

by Zak Gray

 

9 Comments

  • 安德烈

    我是俄罗斯人, 在我国也有真多的不守法的司机。有时,在路上错误的行为导致非常认真的结果。在一个城市,司机碰到了一个人和他的三个儿子。遵守交通法规是一各主要的东西。

  • mscarson

    Hi, just wanted to let you guys know that lesson #128 suddenly converted from Simplified text into Traditional text. It appears to be the lesson that did this, so I thought maybe there was a mistake.

    PS: Thank you so much for this wonderful site, it really has helped me learn a lot!

    • I assume it happened because you have clicked on the 繁體中文 button on the side bar at some moment.
      Thanks for your support!

  • Luca Cavalli

    I found your podcasts extremely useful, you provide a text which I can study (checking for words and grammar), an audio where I can practise reading aloud and the translation, so I can be sure I got everything right!
    Love it!
    Keep up the good work!

  • I live in Thailand and it is exactly the same here. Foreigners have been killed because they assume people driving will stop as in their own countries.

  • Andy

    我觉得这个播客很有意思。 我住在法国,有的时候法国的司机在斑马线上不停住, 很危险。觉得中国的情况比法国更坏。

    在中国的小城市有很多交通意外吗?

    • 小城市的交通意外不多,因为司机觉得行人会不守规矩,行人也觉得司机会不守规矩,所以最后,大家都非常小心。