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China’s Bizarre Lane Change Hack: Opening Doors Instead of Signals

The scene captured in China
Is this instead of a turn signal?

South China Morning Post

Changing lanes can be daunting for novice drivers. Even with the turn signal activated, as instructed, merging into traffic often seems impossible, sometimes prompting the vehicle behind to honk in encouragement. This maneuver remains nerve-wracking on congested roads, even for the most experienced drivers.

However, a new method for changing lanes has recently gained attention in China. This technique involves using a component other than the traditional turn signal or blinker. It reportedly allows drivers to change lanes without depending on the cooperation of the vehicle behind them. Despite its effectiveness, this method has attracted significant criticism due to concerns over driving etiquette and safety.

South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post

A novel way to intervene
Open the door wide and sneak in

Recently, black box videos from China have surfaced on various online platforms, capturing significant attention. These videos depict a somewhat congested city road. In one video, while the vehicle equipped with the black box maintained a safe distance and inched forward, a car in the right lane exhibited unusual behavior.

Instead of using the turn signal—a basic driving etiquette—the driver of this car unexpectedly opened the door wide while trying to merge into the lane in front of the black box vehicle. The black box vehicle’s driver attempted to swerve left to block this unconventional maneuver but was unsuccessful in preventing the other vehicle from using its open door effectively as leverage to merge into the lane. This novel and hazardous technique of changing lanes has sparked concerns about safety and driving norms.

South China Morning Post
Reuters

It happened more than once
It even led to accidents

In the end, the other driver succeeded in pushing the driver’s door into the front of the black box vehicle and began to move into the lane. After the lane change was completed, the door was closed again, and there were no signs of understanding, including emergency lights. People were shocked to see the driver change lanes almost threateningly, even when unsure whether to grant a concession request.

Other examples of this method were used, including in China. On December 31, 2019, a passenger vehicle attempted this method in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. The difference is that the other vehicle did not back down but rushed forward and hit the door blocking the front. Interfering with the door is a nuisance and accident-causing act that is embarrassing to call a method for changing lanes. What would happen if we did something like this in South Korea?

Reuters
Reddit

Illegal in South Korea
A fine of up to $145 can be imposed

In South Korea, three major laws can be violated. First, according to Article 39 of the Road Traffic Act in South Korea, Methods and Restrictions on Riding or Loading, all drivers must take measures such as properly closing doors to prevent passengers from falling out while driving. Violation of this may result in a fine of up to about $145, detention, or fines.

It also constitutes a failure to comply with Article 48 of the Road Traffic Act, Safe Driving Obligation. This is because this clause clearly states that we must not drive in a way that causes danger or harm to others. Violation of this will result in a fine of about $29 and 10 penalty points. In this situation, even if the turn signal light is activated, it is not visible to the rear vehicle that is cutting in. Therefore, a fine of about $22 may be imposed under Article 38 of the Road Traffic Act, Non-Use turn signal light.

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