China: Around The Nation

Foreigner’s one-man mission to stop dangerous driving praised in China

New Zealander shown in pictures circulated online upbraiding motorists for rude or dangerous driving near his home in Chengdu

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 June, 2017, 3:21pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 June, 2017, 3:35pm

A New Zealander has hit the spotlight on the internet in China after pictures of him trying to stop rude or dangerous behaviour on the roads went viral online.

Pictures were posted of the man tackling various kinds of poor driving in his home city of Chengdu in Sichuan province, from illegal parking on pavements to going the wrong way down a street.

The man, who was only referred to by his first name Peter, told the Chengdu Commercial Daily that Chinese drivers should respect the country’s traffic laws.

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“China has many beautiful roads and the road in front of my compound is even wider than those between Wellington and Auckland, but some drivers fail [to respect] them,” he said.

The photographs posted online include him chasing after a car going the wrong way down a street.

In another he is shown on his scooter, raising his hand and stopping cars to let an old woman cross the road.

“I need to manage dangerous drivers,” Peter was quoted as saying.

Peter said he first stopped a rude taxi driver three years ago on Hainan Island in southern China because he did not give way to pedestrians.

He has also caught foreign drivers breaking the law over the years, according to the article.

“I will caution rude drivers and most of them say sorry to me. I’ll report those who refuse to listen to traffic police.”

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His girlfriend, however, voiced fears that he may one day be attacked by a motorist.

A traffic police officer told the newspaper that Peter was helping to save people’s lives, but he should take care of himself and report incidents to the police if necessary.

In June last year, the Around the Nation carried a report about another New Zealander, a foreign professor named Bruce, who is a volunteer traffic warden in Guiyang, Guizhou province.

Traffic regulations are routinely broken by motorists in China, including jumping red lights, driving through lines of pedestrians when they have the right of way and parking on pavements.