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Hong Kong Driving Style

Discussion in 'Hong Kong' started by DITB, Mar 28, 2015.

  1. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    Ah, yes, you can hold a baby in your lap, "hands free", but not a phone.

    Having one of each, I can testify to holding a baby is much more distracting than holding a phone.

    Also, in the unlikely (but possible) event of a crash - I would much rather have my baby strapped in, rather than my phone.

    Not saying it's ok to let yourself get distracted, whether due to smoking, eating, picking your nose, calling, texting, talking, playing mahjong or anything else.

    If Hong Kong was really serious about road safety, they should start by installing usable road signs, and removing the ones that are only distracting.

    Like which lane to pick, well in advance. Large, clear signs that leave no doubt, even to someone who hasn't been there before.

    "Keep left unless overtaking" - enforce that one too. So many vehicles, from small motorcycles to the largest trucks - insist on persistently driving in the rightmost lane, regardless what speed they are doing. This means so many will pass on the inside. Very dangerous, but what do you do when a taxi is doing 85 km/h in the right lane on the Lantau expressway?
     
  2. Lerxt

    Lerxt Member

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    Its the driving instructors that are the problem. No one seems to learn to indicate turns, look before you change lanes or lane courtesy. None of the instructors would pass a driving test anywhere else.

    And who taught that woman I saw in Sai Kung the other day to reverse in a roundabout if you miss your turnoff.....?
     
  3. Lee Tsui

    Lee Tsui Member

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    OMG you just listed all my hatreds of driving in Hong Kong. It's a joke how rediculous people drive here, there is no lanes, no indicating, and undertaking is more common than overtaking.

    And the Street signs here are so bad, they put directions to junctions right at the point of the lanes breaking off giving you no time to get into the correct lane. They just expect you to know every single road (thankfully I almost do these days!) but seriously the road signs here are the worst, you're better off just taking a guess, making a mistake, than following them at the last minute when you realise you're in the totally wrong lanes!
     
  4. Mikischu

    Mikischu Member

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    So True!

    At first I thought that maybe they do small street signs because they worry about large signs being dangerous during typhoons... But after a while I realised that not only are the signs small, but they are almost always placed too late or too far down the road to be useful!
     
  5. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    My wife took her license recently, first time pass. She will use her turn signal if there is a sharp turn in the road, and I try to explain her - as long as you follow the road, you don't use turn signals. I know they do that at the Yuen Long driving school she went to. Saw many cars from there doing the rounds, at each 90 degree twist of the road, turn signal comes on :rolleyes:

    It's a planned route of 2 or 3 possibilities. Students sit and watch videos of the route, over and over again, with comments, and just memorize it. "After this turn, use turn signal to this side, choose that lane, be careful of this crossing" and so on.

    Basically, the drivers license is good only for driving these three specific routes!

    I should probably not "complain", it's not my country of origin. Just such a shame, it takes so little to make it better.
     
  6. Vmax

    Vmax Member

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    My estimate is, that less of 50% of the drivers are using the turn indicator when turning or changing the lane. Drives me nuts. Must be the substandard driving instructors and the police who are not enforcing it.
     
  7. Phil K

    Phil K Member

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    I am one of the few who use signal before changing lanes. And the usual scenario is the guy in the next lane speeds up and closes the gap when he sees my turn indicator flashing.
     
  8. Mikischu

    Mikischu Member

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    I think it is probably better to indicate too much rather than not at all. In Happy Valley you can easily see that 9 out of 10 cars wont indicate when turning. Very dangerous for pedestrians.
    Also as a drive in the car following someone, if you indicate, I'll know you will be slowing down to make a turn soon. Much less chance of a rear ender.
     
  9. AppleFan

    AppleFan Member

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    I would rather drivers "over-signal" (use it more than necessary) than under-signal which seems to be the norm in Hong Kong.
     
  10. Vmax

    Vmax Member

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    Welcome to HK ...
    Though still love it here.
     
  11. YW-Slayer

    YW-Slayer Member

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    Or rather, "don't signal".

    I can't believe there are instructors out there who teach what DITB described. People like that should be restricted to public transport, and barred from teaching someone to drive, with a violation resulting in 2 weeks to 8 months in jail.
     
  12. DITB

    DITB Charged.hk co-founder

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    #12 DITB, Apr 6, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2015
    When she is driving I am "re-schooling" her and correcting those silly things they teach. Not claiming to be an expert, but things like these are obvious:

    - Use your turn signal when you intend to turn, not when you want to turn.
    - Don't use your turn signal if you are following the road, only if you are deviating from the expected path, or want to get back on it
    - Before you change lane, 1) Check mirrors 2) Look over your shoulder 3) apply turn signal 4) Change lane. And in that order!
    - No need to go full speed towards a red light and slam the brakes in the last moment
    - Don't go too close to traffic in front. Base the separation on time, not on distance (faster requires longer distance)
    - Be polite and accommodating to other traffic, from pedestrians to trucks.
    - Look ahead in traffic, the faster you drive, the further you have to look, as that is where you will be even if you slam the brakes
    - See what others are doing or are going to do. Try to predict their intentions (not too easy in Hong Kong). See what way they are looking to try to guess if they will comply with traffic rules or not

    I can't believe that one of the most challenging places to drive in the world has some of the worst driving schools. And we even picked the one with the best reputation (ie higher percentages pass!). And what are those blue signs with "Keep left unless overtaking" for? They are at each 2 km or so on the expressways, but obviously ignored by both drivers and police.

    Last week, in an estate where a speed bump precedes a pedestrian crossing (NOT a zebra crossing, just a path leads that way). I stopped and let the waiting people cross, and a car behind me honked aggressively as obviously, I should have raced over the speed bump and ignored pedestrians. "Might of way" seems to rule in Hong Kong rather than "right of way".


    Here are some rules from TD about expressways and trunk routes: )Transport Department - Expressways and Trunks Roads )

    That bit about Learner cars on expressways: You should go back to the driving school after you pass your test. Then the instructor will take you onto the expressway so you can learn about it.

    In other words: You have a full license before you ever get to drive on the expressway, and it's then up to you to learn it yourself. It's all very logical to a gold fish or a piece of wood.
     

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