I've been living and working in mainland China for three years.  In that time, I have noticed how the pedestrian crosses the road at his own risk.  I have personally almost been killed about four times in the cross walk, when the 'walk' sign is green by uncaring and daredevil drivers.

Last night, my girlfriend and I saw something very new: a Chinese driver actually slowed to a halt to allow us to cross!  I was so flabbergasted that I did not cross, as three years of crazy drivers and four near death experiences made me think twice.  I did, acknowledge his courtesy with a wave, though.

In America, the pedestrian always has the 'right of way',and the 'defensive driving' ethic is firmly in place.  You get the occasional crazy or daredevil driver in the states, but here, offensive driving is the norm, weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds is common, and not using your turn signal at all to indicate lane changes or turns is common.  

With about 1.5 billion people, and God knows how many cars, traffic accidents and pedestrian fatalities will rise steadily in this place.

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