Chi­nese pledge to drive more po­litely in Canada

China Daily (Canada) - - FRONT PAGE - By YAN DONGJIE in Bei­jing yan­dongjie@chi­nadaily.com.cn

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.

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