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Pedestrians see red at road crossings


09:20, October 29, 2012

(Xinhua Cartoon)

BEIJING, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- China's cyber community has never been short of buzz words. The latest one is "Chinese style road crossing", which means large crowds of people crossing during red lights.

The term has left many to self-reflect on people's disrespect for rules, while others, have complained about pedestrians' limited right of way.

The buzz started after an Internet user posted a comment on China's twitter-like microblog Sina Weibo saying "Chinese style road crossing is crossing the road with a disregard to traffic lights, as long as a crowd of people are going with you."

The post soon triggered discussions online, as well as in traditional media.

A news program by China Central Television (CCTV) broadcasted a video showing more than 600 pedestrians running red lights when crossing a road in the space of one hour at an intersection in Shijiazhuang city, Hebei Province.

Some accused Chinese people of lacking a rule-abiding spirit, especially the deep-rooted belief that the law will not punish numerous offenders.

"An individual will feel emboldened when being one of a group of offenders," said microblogger "qqmac321", "They would even shrug off punishment."

Apart from the herd mentality, characteristics of Chinese people were brought to the center stage, with soul-searching going as deep as arguing why Chinese people are always in a rush.

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