Traffic in Taipei, Taiwan ROC

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I recently spent a couple of weeks in Taipei, as I was over there for business. I was amazed that in the whole time I was there they I saw only two minor traffic accidents. I was amazed simply because the traffic there can only be described as chaotic.

An interesting phenomenom is that most intersections have a series of white lines painted on the road itself, parallel to the kerb, and extending from one side of the road to the other. They look suspiciously like the lines we'd call a pedestrian crossing, only they must mean something else. Probably something like "objects bigger and made of more metal have right of way".

When I learnt to drive, Dad always said to leave at least 2-3 car lengths between myself and the car in front. Now I have not always been angelic about this, but in Taiwan this would mean 2-3 cars from the next lane would cut in, as well as 2-3 of the cars riding in between lanes.

This is bad enough, but if you happen to be in the middle lane of three, this would mean that 8-12 cars would be jostling into the spots.

And then there's the scooters......

I think I finally worked out the traffic out system in Taipei. Its actually really quite simple - the laws of physics have been waived so that the laws of traffic can be waived accordingly. This means that when 9-12 cars, plus a couple of dozen scooters converge on a single lane, they get away with it because there is an anomoly that allows multiple material objects to occupy the same point in the space/time continuum.

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