You know who they are. They can be found near department store parking lot exits and upscale gated residential complexes. They carry a baton and blow their whistles. They block traffic just so their “VIP” customers can exit without waiting. Their customers are more important than anyone else, it seems, so we can all just wait for Mr bigshot to pull out. Who the heck are these fake traffic cops? Why does anyone listen to them?
I agree — I personally see these fake “traffic cops” and “security guards” at university campuses, schools, department stores, apartment blocks etc. as nothing more than job creation. I guess it’s better having a job and getting paid for doing something totally irrelevant and utterly useless (in some cases) than not having a job and playing Mah-Jong and drinking Giao-Liang in the park. The security guard(s) at the complex where I stay manages, without fail, to fall asleep within minutes after reporting for duty – no matter whether it’s morning, day, afternoon or night shift. How in the hell do they do it? It bothers me from time to time, especially when it’s time to pay the security fee, or when I have to wake up sleepy beauty, who then looks totally pissed off 'cause I woke him up, to allow me in the %$#king front door – lazy bastard! :fume:
The security guards where we live wuld appear to be rather good and professional.
I wouldn’t mind so much except that they try to pass themselves off as police - nearly identical uniforms and everything.
I usually don’t listen to them. Being a foreigner has its advantages. I simply give them my “wo ting bu dong” look and go on my merry way. Works every time.
Sure, but they get a little hard to ignore when they come out on to the road and block traffic so that their customers can come in and outwithout waiting. This practice has got to be illegal some how. Nothing creates road rage more than some fake cop directing traffic in order to favour customers of a restaurant, department store etc at everyone elses’ expense. I stopped at a school recently, thinking the guy up ahead was a crossing guard. Then I realized that it wasn’t kids coming out. The security guy had come out and blocked traffic in both directions so that the teachers could drive out without waiting.
i’ve got no problem blowing by them with the horn blaring. no authority there whatsoever …
Funny you should mention that. That’s exactly what I did in the case above.
I know what you all mean. They can be annoying. But for the small inconvenience that they cause, I think it’s just better to do what they say. I’m sure there are good ones and bad ones. The good ones will wait for a reasonable gap in traffic before letting their customers out. And look at it this way – at least you get some warning that somebody’s going to pull out. If you just blast straight through I think it’s more likely you’ll create some kind of an accident. (And if you did, I don’t think the cops would look kindly on the viewpoint that the “fakes” had no authority.)
[quote=“stan”]…these fake “traffic cops” and “security guards” at university campuses, schools[/quote]The school and university “fakes” could well be saving lives. My co-moderator MJB is a volunteer traffic co-ordinator at his daughter’s school, and since he started doing that, things have got a whole lot safer and more organised there.
Obviously the safety issue is paramount but I think there’s something to be said as well for not worsening foreigner/local relations. I’m sure you’re all great guys but if you blast past a traffic person (authorised or not) blowing the horn, it could reinforce the stereotype of the arrogant foreigner…
having someone step in my way when i’m driving to let some benz cut in front of me is not acceptable, imho. now, if they wait for a break in the traffic, which is what they are supposed to do instead of just walking out the second some “local vip” comes up/down the ramp, i have no problem waiting.
nor do i have problems waiting for people crossing the street, crosswalk or no.
as to your last point, i think you missed the fact that a lot of locals disregard these people, in the same way that they disregard real traffic authority.
I am not referring to these sorts of people, crossing guards etc. I respect them and always stop. I think it’s great that MJB has volunteered at his daughter’s school.
It’s the sort who block traffic to facilitate ease of entry and exit for cars without any need to do so and, indeed, no authorization to do so that I am referring to here. Perhaps it is me, but I am perceiving more and more of them these days. It seems every new appartment complex or shopping center has some security guy with a baton and a whistle blocking traffic for the benefit of the customers. I see no authority on their part to be doing what they’re doing; they are simply giving VIP treatment to their customers and not behaving in a fair (or safe) fashion toward the rest of us.
Foreigner/ local relations? On this issue, I bet I’d have plenty of local allies. I try to tread gently in most of my daily life (and. admittedly, I usually grudgingly stop for these rent-a-traffic-cops) but, if someone has an issue with foreigners, that’s his problem and not mine. And, anyway, if I drive past someone in my car with tinted windows or on my bike with a full face helmet and the visor down, it’s unlikely that the person is going to spot the foreigner.
Would you rather have the cars barrel out into a group of pedestrians? These guys are helpful as sometimes the angle of ascent coming from underground parking lots makes it difficult to see pedestrians. Ever seen how pedestrians act in Taiwan? They could care less a car is coming at them no matter how nice the driver is to wait etc. If you are driving and let a pedestrian go first they most always walk really slow and don’t say thank-you or smile like they do back home where I am from. Those security guards can be nice and they are not helping big shots, even if you drive a beat up old Nissan March or a scooter, they will also stop the pedestrians for a moment so you do not run over anyone. You guys got to look at things from other perspectives. Thank those guys for warning you a car is about to come out of the side of a building when you are hungover and not paying attention.
I’m referring to traffic, not pedestrians. These guys come right out into the road and stop traffic, sometimes both lanes. Incidentally, they don’t stop the pedestrians. Guess they have to fend for themselves.
Where do they do stop the traffic like you say? The guy at the Breeze shopping mall stops pedestrians on the side walk. Other underground parking they stop pedestrians on the sidewalk.
So department stores and gated communities. They are just providing good service to their customers and employers. Kind of annoying, I agree. Take it in stride, this is Taiwan, that is just the way it is and there is nothing you can do it about it. You could think of them as teaching Taiwan people to yield and allow cars to pull out into traffic. You know normally when drivers in Taiwan see someone wants to pull out, they close the gaps quickly to not allow them to pull out. This could be because if they did there might be 20 cars behind him that will pour out from behind him.
This place is chaos, I am sure if you lived in that gated community or shopped in that department store, you might like that service if it was you they were stopping traffic for. You must know how hard it is to get out into traffic. No one will let you in.
I’m not sure where you live. From the sound of it, Taipei. Things are very different there. Police are much more strict and laws are more frequently enforced. You likely don’t see the phenomenon of the rent-a-traffc-cop nearly as often there. Out here it’s an entirely different kettle of fish.
Thanks for stating the obvious. Nobody knows that more than I do. This is a discussion forum. I’m discussing something that bugs me, not saying I somehow can’t take it.
I do live in such a community and I do shop in department stores. My complex doesn’t have one of these dudes (I think I’ll ask next time). I may like the service just fine, Hobart, but it doesn’t change the fact that the guy is not a cop. What authorization does he have to walk out into traffic and block it, sometimes in both directions, just to give his customers priority? I am well aware of the traffic situation here. However, I suggest that having illegal traffic cop wannabes everywhere will not make anything better, only worse. How does holding up traffic in both directions while big shot in the Benz gets to come out of the lot without waiting help traffic flow? It’s going to cause accidents (and I wonder where the fault would lie) and respect for real traffic authorities will get even lower than it is now (assuming that’s even possible).
Sometimes these traffic cop wannabes are just absurd. I remember coming home one night and seeing someone with a lit baton motioning to traffic as if to flag them over. It turns out it was some guy trying to get people to come into his restaurant.
maybe it doesn’t happen in taipei, but it does happen in this neck of the woods.
well whoop-de-do. if i hire someone to block everyone from entering an elevator before me, will you honestly tell me that you will sit by and wait because he is providing good service to me, his/her employer?
that’s the way it is … blah blah. you can ignore them when they walk out in front of you while you are on your way to work/school/personal business and try to get you to stop so buddy doesn’t have to wait. the most fun is when they try to get right out in front of you when there is no one behind you. could they just wait a sec? yes. do they? never.
it’s chaos because everyone on the road is “me first”, and this is an extension of that. they aren’t even on the road yet, but they still want to be first. you want to get on the road from another place - wait your turn.
as said before, maybe this isn’t such a gripe in taipei, where things move at a snail’s pace anyways. but it’s absolute crap to be asked to stop for some benz so he doesn’t even need to pause at the end of the ramp and see if anything is coming.
[quote=“TS”]I am well aware of the traffic situation here. However, I suggest that having illegal traffic cop wannabes everywhere will not make anything better, only worse. How does holding up traffic in both directions while big shot in the Benz gets to come out of the lot without waiting help traffic flow? It’s going to cause accidents (and I wonder where the fault would lie) and respect for real traffic authorities will get even lower than it is now (assuming that’s even possible).
Sometimes these traffic cop wannabes are just absurd. I remember coming home one night and seeing someone with a lit baton motioning to traffic as if to flag them over. It turns out it was some guy trying to get people to come into his restaurant.[/quote]
You really have some hangup over this. You can go out and stop traffic for your little old granny if you want. You don’t have to have authorization from the governement to stop traffic for your grandmother. Also, why are you so hungup on making this into a have and have not issue by saying big shot in a Benz. This has nothing to do with what car people drive. The Department Store customer might be driving an old March banger or some other crappy car. Would you feel different?
With that said, I understand your problem, I have been annoyed by this myself many times myself. Also, besides guards which look cops in their uniform, there are cars which average people drive which look like cop cars in their lights. That is also annoying and there seems to be no regulations about this.
Actually, no I don’t. Don’t assume. I’m putting this here for discussion, only. For fun, you know. It bothers me, yes, like alot of other little things. Nothing at all bothers you? I never said I couldn’t handle it and I don’t have a “hangup” over the issue.
Not in a western country you can’t. Sure, if your granny found herself on a road somewhere and was in danger, you could alert drivers to the danger. However, if you operated a business and you hired a dude to block traffic to let your customers in and out, the cops would be all over you.
Actually, another contributer was the first to mention benz and bigshot. I just borrowed his metaphors. I’m equal opportunity annoyed at people blocking traffic to benefit the customers of commercial enterprises. Make no mistake, it has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with customer service at the expense of everyone else. From now on, I’ll mention big shot in the beat up old blue truck, if it sounds better.
The issue here is with private interests blocking public roads to make entry and exit from their establishments more convenient for their customers. It’s wrong; it’s more than likely illegal; it’s dangerous as well. They have no authorization or authority to be doing this at all. I notice this happens far more out here than it does in Taipei, where policing is more strict. They take advantage of the more–shall we say-- relaxed policing standards out here.
They spot check on this at times, and fines for this are high. Recently, they checked from midnight to 6 am at the freeway toll stations. Any illegals modifications, and the car would have its license plates removed. the owner would get a fine.
However, enforcement remains spotty, at least for the time being. I would say that in a few years, they might enforce it to the point where those illegal mods dissapear.