Chinese pledge to drive more politely in Canada
An online campaign, named “Pedestrians first” and advocated by the Embassy of Canada to China, has won the support of hundreds of Chinese on social media.
The campaign, officially launched in May by the embassy through its account on twitter-like weibo.com, calls on the staff in the embassy to drive courteously and set examples of good drivers. The rule of “pedestrians first when you drive” was also added to the embassy’s vehicle use regulations.
“Have you felt depressed when you were stopped by the flow of vehicles while walking across a road?” said the Weibo post. “We promise: driving politely. Will you join us?”
As of Tuesday, more than 700 people have promised through Weibo to participate in the activity to drive politely. At the same time, the original post sent by the official Weibo account of the Canadian Embassy in China has been forwarded more than 1,000 times, and received hundreds of comment.
Some public figures have embraced the effort and are heavily promoting it on Weibo, among them Ren Zhiqiang, the outspoken former chairman of Huayuan Real Estate, Zheng Yuanjie, a well-known writer, and Chen Tong, vice-president of Xiaomi.
Guy Saint-Jacques, the Canadian ambassador to China, has also advocated the campaign through the embassy’s weibo account.
Many Chinese netizens welcomed and supported this activity. Weibo user “Careful Little Snail” responded to the activity by saying, “I am often blocked for a long time by vehicles that are making a right turn. It’s pretty depressing when it is green light but I just cannot cross the road. I should up-vote you all.”
Others, however, have a different take on this activity. User “SokaiDexter” on Weibo said, “China is different from Canada for that it has too many cars on the road. Making car drivers give way to pedestrians may not work. I think the problem can be solved better by traffic distribution.”
The embassy said a courteous driving habit is key to ensuring traffic safety. On Tuesday, the embassy again published a Weibo post calling on people to continue the activity and appeal to others in the effort.