The fundamental unofficial principles of Chinese Driving seem to be:

Please do updates or email me: terry@terryking.us

  • Keep Moving! Don't slow down unless you have to
  • Don't stop unless you're going to hit something
  • Where there's a space, there's a lane
  • Lane markers and traffic direction signs are advisory, not compulsory
  • Expect to encounter head-on cars on one-way streets
  • Taxis are immune to all driving regulations except red lights.
  • Don't stop right at the stoplight, use all that extra space in the intersection
  • Don't worry that you can't see the stoplight, the guy behind you will beep when it changes
  • Don't worry about left turn lanes, there's plenty of space to their right in the intersection
  • An unoccupied left turn lane is the Important Driver Lane, used to cut in front of cars going straight
  • Pedestrians always walk in the street; the sidewalks are full of trees, parked cars, and large soup boilers
  • Bikes, Electric Bikes, Powered Tricycles are everywhere and rarely obey lanes or lights.

And a few conventions that actually seem to be observed:

  • Red lights are usually respected, after a big ticketing campaign. Even taxis!

A few practical notes and cautions:

  • Exercise special caution when crossing streets in China‚Äôs cities as pedestrians do not have the right-of-way
  • Many taxi cabs do not have functioning seat belts for passengers.
  • When biking:
    • Wear a helmet!
    • Obey the red lights. DO NOT get caught out in an intersection when the light changes!
    • Never pass a stopped vehicle quickly; you may meet a wrong-way driver right in your face.
    • Expect children to run into the road in front of you.

As the official US Government website travel.state.gov states, "Driving etiquette in China is still developing"

#TODO# Chinese Road Signs