I cross the road on an official marked crossing, have cars, trucks and scooters stop for me, most of the time … I make them stop and try jumping in front if they are sufficient distance from me … questionable and dangerous, I know … but they need to learn give priority.
You can’t teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of time and it annoys the pig.
Give up before you get hurt …
Don’t do that! The pedestrian does not have the right of way in Taiwan. You won’t teach them to give it to you, because it is a foreign concept they are not even aware of. They will just think foreigners are crazy because some jump out in front of vehicles. It’s not like some rule where people just have to be reminded of it to do better.
I cross with the light in a crosswalk, if possible, but still am very conscious that some fool may not be giving me the right of way. I also check behind me, because drivers will turn right into a pedestrian, and since they are behind you, you won’t see them.
Legally speaking, the pedestrian does have right of way. In practice, it’s not really enforced, but I have seen police ticket drivers for not yielding.
True that. bababa, what you said just goes to show how little some know about the actual law here…
As mentioned, practice is a different animal altogether: Rarely see drivers yield to pedestrians at crosswalks or stop at stop signs, for that matter…
I think drivers know they are supposed to stop. They just don’t care. I always assume that the person approaching the crosswalk is a homicidal maniac, and that the police will do absolutely nothing to enforce the traffic laws. That keeps me pretty safe.
Assertive but cautious is the way to go.
If there is a walk/don’t walk signal, I frequently follow the New York City pedestrian rule: Cross only on the DON’T WALK signal.
This method protects you from drivers turning either left or right - which are the most dangerous. (Well it protects you most of the time, anyway.)
Unfortunately, some streets are just too busy for this and other places have no signal.
The backup-approach is to cross only in a large crowd.
The human shield. I used to use that. Getting behind children works best. I don’t do that anymore. I don’t know if traffic has gotten better or I am just used to it now.
I talked about this with a university class a while back: most of the students didn’t think that pedestrians have the legal right of way. (And these students were more pedestrians than drivers.)
I cross the road very carefully, although sometimes I’m pushier than is safe. If someone honks while I’m walking across, I slow down. Which is dumb but fun.
This seems like a bit of an odd topic considering the accident that resulted in the death of a UK man this past weekend.
Why? It seems very relevant indeed to me.
When I’m crossing I eyeball any approaching vehicle. Drivers stop noticeably faster and shorter of the crosswalk area when I do it…works for me at least.
Yep, that’s the way to go … slow :bravo:
My rule: even if the pedestrian light is green and the little animated man is animating, I look for traffic coming anyway. And I look both ways, even on a one-way street. Never assume that a driver approaching a red light is going to stop, or a driver making a turn can see you.
I’m always amazed when I return to California, I see pedestrians walking from the sidewalk onto the crosswalk without looking or even changing speed. They just amble right into the street as if there were no such thing as fallible drivers! Sure, the “Vehicles must stop for pedestrians at the crosswalk” law is rigidly enforced there, but it still doesn’t make the streets there as safe as the sidewalk. It’s a dangerous habit! If that’s a dangerous habit there, it’s a devastatingly deadly one here.
It’s a simple concept my mommy taught me when I was a little tyke: “Stop and look both ways before you cross the street.”
I was a member of the Tufty Club when I was a tyke. I had an enamel badge and everything.
Perhaps I’m just surrounded by ethical, aware people. Everyone I know in Taiwan who drives is aware of the legal requirement to stop for pedestrians. My circle includes perhaps 100 or so Taiwanese people who I see on a fairly regular basis and with whom I may discuss the traffic situation.
What a lot of people do is slow down, but not stop. It’s about as much “courtesy” as you can expect.
Still, it’s much better than what I experience when I’m in China a few times every month. Drivers there truly are homicidal maniacs. There is no safety at all, only luck and good timing.
Because the premise of the original post seems to be, I teach drivers to yield to pedestrians by intentionally stepping in front of them.
They are doing it now, but this is a very recent implementation. They’ve only begun putting up “Pedestrians have right of way, those who are civilized should yield” posters and enforcing fines maybe in past 2 years or so in Taipei City, initially because they were afraid of running over deaf people during the deaflympics. The actual change of law and enforcement of fines only started on April 12th, 2010 in Taipei City. Before that, no one was really taught that pedestrians have right of way. Instead, government propaganda campaigns focused mainly on making pedestrians pay more attention while crossing. I.E. “馬路如虎口 (The road is as dangerous as a tiger’s jaws)” and “stop, look, and listen”.
[quote=“Tomas”] Perhaps I’m just surrounded by ethical, aware people. Everyone I know in Taiwan who drives is aware of the legal requirement to stop for pedestrians. My circle includes perhaps 100 or so Taiwanese people who I see on a fairly regular basis and with whom I may discuss the traffic situation.
Point is, this is a new development. The government’s attitude has changed, but it will take a bit longer than just 1 year for this concept to spread amongst the general population. Your friends may be more enlightened than the average Taiwanese, or they may also be telling you what they think you want to hear. Nicer people will stop when it’s quick and convenient for them (only 1 or 2 pedestrians at an empty intersection while turning from stopped position), but when it does not seem absolutely necessary (15 pedestrians waiting to cross, as you follow 2-3 other cars who are turning and NOT stopping for them cause it would take too long), you’ll be surprised at how many choose the easy way out.
Also a matter of what you say versus what you do. If you ask a Taiwanese person “is it bad to litter?”, they will probably say that one should not litter. Do people still do it all the time, when they can’t find trash cans (which is all the time in Taipei)? Hell yeah. (leaving stuff on other people’s scooters counts too.)
And you’re right, you are dealing with a completely different group of people than what comprises at least 50% of drivers in Taiwan. Your friends are likely to be youngish, educated white collar workers. Most of the drivers on the street are older, betelnut chewing, line-cutting blue collar workers. They’ve never really been exposed to how the Western concept of pedestrians having right of way works. In their world, it’s a dog eat dog world, and the bigger fish always wins. The enforcement of high fines should rectify this problem soon enough though.
This is how I cross the street when I’m alone: when I’m with someone else, I’m often guilty of becoming distracted, as talking and walking can be too much multi-tasking for me sometimes!
When crossing at a crossing with many other pedestrians, I will go with the group. But if the signal changes, I look first in the direction of the traffic that has just turned red, as there’s often a straggler speeding up, then in the direction of cars whose turn intersects my path.
I don’t always use the crossing. I’m very rarely in rush hour traffic, so this is when I’m crossing a fairly empty street. When jaywalking or crossing during the wrong signal, I will look both ways and listen. And also stand a little bit away from the curb and into the street/stick my head out further so that I’m more visible to oncoming traffic. If cars are coming towards me and there’s any doubt in my mind about whether I will be able to cross without freaking them or myself out, I wait for a safer gap in the traffic. When crossing a busy street (civic, zhongxiao, etc.) I will walk until I find a crosswalk.
Man, I can’t even walk out of the elevator in my building without getting into a head-on with a local. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been drilled by a bicyclist on the sidewalk at the security gate. When I’m out on the street, I just pretend I’m in mainland China. I don’t even cross a deserted alley without a minimum of double-takes over each shoulder. Those pedestrian traffic signals don’t mean shit to drivers and they mean even less to me. Cross when clear. That’s the only rule I follow.