China: Around The Nation

Truckers stop in emergency lane of Chinese highway for al fresco dinner

Quartet enjoys leisurely meal as vehicles race by metres away

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 6:22pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 02 October, 2016, 6:22pm

Police investigating why two truck and trailer units were parked in an emergency lane on a highway in southwestern China were shocked to find four people enjoying an al fresco dinner, news portal reports.

Two men and two women from the trucks parked their vehicles on Saturday afternoon in an emergency lane on a highway in Sichuan province, the report said.

The quartet, equipped with bowls, chopsticks, a rice cooker and plates, squatted down for an unhurried dinner around 5:30pm, CCTV footage showed.

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Traffic was flowing smoothly at the time, the police said. The diners seemed relaxed despite vehicles racing by only metres away, many of them using their horns in warning. They even washed their dishes after finishing their meal, wrapping up a relaxed dinner break that lasted around 20 minutes.

The police said it is highly dangerous to occupy the lane, which is designated for emergency vehicles such as police cars and fire fighting vehicles. Both drivers received six penalty points on their licences and were each fined 200 yuan.

It is not uncommon for Chinese drivers and passengers to leave their vehicles when caught in traffic jams that last for hours but parking beside a highway for dinner is rare.