I've mentioned before that crossing the road in China is a dangerous thing to do.Drivers and riders routinely ignore signals and markings, drive on the wrong side of the road and generally show zero awareness of any other road user, motorised or pedestrian. So I was surprised on my way home today to see that the Yangshuo authorities had stationed some traffic wardens at the crossroads at the end of the street.
What were they doing to help safety? Good question. Normally people here, me included, also ignore the lights and cross when it seems safe to do so, whether it's the little green man or the little red man showing. These "wardens" were forcibly stopping this activity then making people cross with the green light. They were doing nothing at all about the traffic or the danger. When I tried to cross because the road was empty one blew his whistle and angrily pushed me back onto the pavement. When the light turned to green he pushed me out into the traffic where I was almost run over by a moped coming from the wrong direction and had to run to dodge a coach that had run the red light. I can't help thinking that their time would be better spent enforcing the traffic regulations.
Oh yes, almost forgot, when I had safely made it to the other side I counted them. On that one junction I saw NINETEEN of these people, all, apparently, hell bent on increasing the pedestrian kill rate.