...even though just all the "massy streets" (there's a little Chinglish with Kunming inspiration on a recent visit) seem full of folks who are going the wrong way or are crossing when millions of pedestrian traffic lights are, well, obviously RED.
The Beijing police will start clamping down on the practice early next month, with pedestrians and bikes fined up to CNY 50 in case they happen to resist a red light and walk in front of oncoming traffic. And although it's more a case of letting pedestrians through in any case for the drivers (a life should not have a price tag attached to it), it sure is an inconvenience for those with a steering wheel in hand.
If you've a driving licence in hand and think you can get away with the mess — especially if you're one for occupying bus lanes against the law — the cops will be installing those scary road-rule enforcement cameras on the ends of the buses.
Which means that if you escape a fixed camera, if that's a trolleybus coming and you're on that bit of the road you're not supposed to be in, boom. You're now CNY 200 poorer per offence.
Finally, the emergency lanes will also be watched much more than before. The one by Sihui Bridge where you're heading west to the CBD from the eastern and southern 4th Rings is especially horrendous. You'll overtake a slowpoke on the right lane (WARNING! Emergency lane!), get back in lane — only to see that the whole thing has been recorded on tape.
Here's a thing: instead of risking the law, just use the Subway, for heaven's sakes. These underground passageways, part of quite a few Subway exits, are yours to use (some even without a security check provided you're not riding the thing). And if you're happy with paying CNY 2 (security check needed!), you can even make your way across the whole station — going from one exit to the other one at the far end of the crossing — without meeting a car.
Once you're in there, though, it's probably time to ride the thing. Why waste your two kuai?...
About The Author...
"Please get ready for your arrival!" Whenever I touch down at Beijing Airport, I feel just a tad safer -- knowing that this is Home Turf for me. When I'm immersed in the massive subway system, I feel I could find my way through even if I was blindfolded. When I'm out on Miyun County Highway 004, I can switch off the GPS guidance system and drive back to Dongsi Shitiao Bridge "just like that". Beijing is my place. Beijingology is what I do. By the way — if you want to reach me — just mail me direct at david [at] davidfeng [dot] com.