It’s Shit Like This Taiwan …

One of our biggest problems with Taiwan – maybe our only big problem – is road safety. That doesn’t just go for seat belts (or lack thereof) in taxis and crazy scooters but also for pedestrians.

The other night was a typical example of that. We were on the sidewalk waiting to cross Renai Road (仁愛路) at Xinsheng South Road (新生南路) when suddenly we hear a horn behind us. What did we see? A taxi driver driving down the sidewalk and trying to get onto Xinsheng. After stepping out of the way (did I mention we were on the sidewalk?!) I snapped this photo:

A Taipei taxi driving down the sidewalk

Don’t mind me; just drivin’ on the sidewalk

A few seconds later, the taxi drove down the pedestrian zebra crossing in order to merge into traffic:

A Taipei taxi driving down the pedestrian crossing while trying to merge into traffic.

Pedestrian crossings: not just for pedestrians any more

Did I mention that this was directly in front of the police station?

Taipei must be one of the only cities in the world where you need to look behind you for cars when standing on the sidewalk (any crazier place, like Hanoi, wouldn’t have giant sidewalks). Taipei (and most of Taiwan) only has the illusion of having traffic laws: there are wide roads, clearly painted lines, plenty of traffic lights, and sidewalks big enough to drive a taxi down. And if you think the taxi drivers are bad, just wait until you see the bus drivers!

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