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Beijing Police: Women Can’t Drive

“Some women drivers lack a sense of direction, and while driving a car, they often hesitate and are indecisive about which road they should take,” stated a post on the Beijing police department’s official microblog account on Tuesday. This, and other useful tips like, [women drivers often find that] “when they’re driving by themselves, they’re [...]

“Some women drivers lack a sense of direction, and while driving a car, they often hesitate and are indecisive about which road they should take,” stated a post on the Beijing police department’s official microblog account on Tuesday.

This, and other useful tips like, [women drivers often find that] “when they’re driving by themselves, they’re not able to find the way to their destination, even if they’ve been there many times,” and, “while the handbrake is typically used for stopping the car’s movement, quite a few new women drivers often hurriedly get on the road without releasing it,” and, of course, “Women drivers, please change into flat shoes when you’re driving,” were sent out to six million followers.

Of course, a massive amount of Chinese netizens called this advice sexist and discriminatory, and it released the proper hellstorm it had coming.

But, on the other hand, from looking at the often discombobulatingly insane way that people tend to drive here combined with the fact that China has over 70,000 confirmed automobile related deaths per year, the Beijing police may have been onto something — but, certainly, they’ve only covered 48.73% of the problem demographic.

Netizens eagerly await the police department’s communique to male drivers, advising them to check their blind spot before changing lanes, use their mirrors, stop yelling into their mobile phones, keep both hands on the wheel while chain smoking, that the shoulder of the road is not an auxiliary lane, that sidewalks are not roads, that driving head on into oncoming traffic when passing is not the best of ideas, that pull out in front of speeding vehicles is stupid . . . Ah, who am I kidding, everybody knows it’s the women.

[Source: SCMP]

Filed under: China, Gender Issues, Traffic, Travel Guide

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3548 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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  • Stephen George October 31, 2013, 2:54 pm

    I wonder if a roundabout would help that intersection. Then again, someone could start going the wrong direction and jam the whole thing.

    Surely within five or ten years most people will learn to drive well, out of necessity if nothing else. I’m surprised the government hasn’t launched some giant initiative to make the roads safer.

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    • Wade Shepard October 31, 2013, 8:32 pm

      Yes, they just don’t put the resources into enforcing driving laws. It would probably take a massive effort at first because it seems as if people have just become conditioned to being able to break just about every traffic law with impunity, but this probably isn’t something that couldn’t be remedied. Though it looks strange to us foreigners, this driving culture is really seems to be something that’s just normal here.

      About the roundabout: they seem to work alright on larger size streets in more out of the way parts of cities, but they are absolutely horrible for pedestrians and bicyclers. At least with an intersection the traffic gets congested and must slow down — which is often the only thing making this happen.

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