In Wheels a week or so ago, I mentioned how brutal driving in China can be.
I guess though you have to toss the authorities a bone - they are trying to educate their drivers.
Part of it is with road signs that at least contain attempts at a bit of humour.
Often, they use little cartoons to make the point.
Now, you wouldn't think whimsy would be a Big Thing in a Communist dictatorship - maybe there are practical reasons for the cartoons.
I don't really know how many languages and dialects there are in China - I do know that Mandarin and Cantonese are the two major ones. Perhaps there are others, perhaps drivers might be from different regions, perhaps the subtleties of the Chinese characters might vary and be hard to distinguish especially at freeway speeds, and you'd assume the cartoons would be universally understood.
I also don't know if overall literacy is an issue; you'd think if they got a licence they'd at least have to be able to read.
Although as I said in that earlier column, judging from the way they drive over there, there's scant evidence that anyone has a licence, let alone took a driving test, let alone ever had a lesson.
So maybe cartoons address that issue.
Whatever the reasons, it'd be pretty hard to ignore the message this cartoon is presenting.
Now, other signs are not so clear. Not sure what the top part of this one is saying:
And while I really shouldn't make fun of their attempts to make driving there a bit easier for foreigners by doing some signs in English, you just can't help chuckling when you see:
For sure, their English is a hell of a lot better than my Chinese - Mandarin OR Cantonese. Still, you'd think there'd be enough English speakers there by now so this sort of thing doesn't actually get out there.