Friday, October 16, 2009

Musings: China, the land of the speed bump

Speed bumps are everywhere in Guangzhou. They aren’t used to deter speeding. They're used to punish speeders. I say this because rarely are there signs posted warning drivers to slow down because there are speed bumps ahead. The logic seems to be: If you're not speeding, you have nothing to worry about. If you're going too fast, you'll pay for it. Bam! I guess ambulance drivers are expected to remember where all the bumps are in the city.

The bumps are usually made of unpainted cement or asphalt so they are camouflaged, blending in perfectly with the road so that it's hard to see them. Near my home, officials have opted for a low-budget approach by just laying a thick pipe across the road. They anchored it with roughly cut spikes of rebar hammered into the road _ perfect for slicing open a bike tire.

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