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Chinese Drivers Try to Deter Nighttime High-Beam Use with Scary Decals

Sick of getting temporarily blinded by drivers using their high-beam headlights at night, more and more Chinese are equipping the rear windows of their cars with scary reflective decals featuring ghosts, vampires or monsters.

Dozens of shops on large e-commerce sites like Taobao are selling scary rear-window decals with graphics ranging from ghostly figures and women with bloody mouths to vampires and yellow-eyed werewolves, and judging by the number of photos currently doing the rounds on Chinese social media, people are actually using them to deter drivers from keeping their high beam headlights on when driving behind them. The bizarre stickers are apparently barely visible in the dark or normal lighting conditions, but light up when a bright light is shone on them.

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Chinese Drivers Who Blind Others with Full-Beam Headlights Forced to Stare into the Light by Police

When driving at night, there’s nothing quite as annoying as being blinded by the full-beam headlights of another vehicle. Recognizing this problem, the police department recently started punishing offenders by making them stare at their own headlights for a full minute. Hopefully, this will make them see the error of their ways.

On November 1st, Shenzen police took to Weibo, China’s most popular social network to warn drivers that anyone caught using their car’s headlights on the full beam illegally would be fined 300 yuan ($44),  lose points on their license and be made to recite regulations on the proper use of headlights. But what really drew people’s attention was the introduction of a new and unconventional punishment – making offenders stare into the high-beam headlights for 60 seconds, while sitting on a specially-designed chair.

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App Gives Japanese Drivers Free Coffee for Not Checking Their Phones at The Wheel

In a bid to convince drivers in Aichi Prefecture to keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road, a new Japanese smartphone app offers free coffee coupons to drivers who don’t check their phones for at least 100 km.

For the last 13 years, Aichi Prefecture has recorded the highest rate of traffic fatalities in Japan. Last year, there were 443,691 accidents that resulted in injuries or deaths, and 50,101 arrests involving the use of smartphones while driving. With handhelds becoming such a big part of people’s lives, there appears to be an increase in violations of this nature, and authorities have yet to come up with an effective plan to combat the problem.

Interestingly, a trio of Japanese company seem to think that an ingenious new app could incentivize drivers to restrain themselves from checking their phones at the wheel and reduce the number of traffic accidents. Toyota Motor Corporation, Komeda Co Ltd and KDDI Corporation have teamed up to create Driving Barista, an app that uses the phone’s gyro sensor to sense the tilt of the device, and the GPS to determine the distance driven. This allows it to calculate the number of kilometers a driver has traveled with the smartphone facing down.

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Meet Graham, the Human Designed to Survive an Otherwise Fatal Car Crash

“Human” might be overstating it a bit, as Graham is actually a sculpture of a person who might be able to survive a car crash that would otherwise kill any normal human being. He was created by artist Patricia Piccinini in collaboration with a  a leading trauma surgeon and a crash investigation expert, for a new Australian road safety campaign.

Graham’s gigantic, helmet-like head, the absence of a neck, his bizarre, hoof-like feet, as well as other unnatural features reflect a human body evolved to sustain the forces involved in auto collisions. According to Joe Calafiore, CEO of Australia’s Transport Accident Commission, Graham is supposed to draw awareness to our vulnerability to vehicle collisions and hopefully reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the road. “People can survive running at full pace into a wall but when you’re talking about collisions involving vehicles, the speeds are faster, the forces are greater and the chances of survival are much slimmer,” Calafiore said. “Cars have evolved a lot faster than humans and graham helps us understand why we need to improve every aspect of our roads system to protect ourselves from our own mistakes.”

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Bumper Cars a Unique Driving Opportunity for Women in Saudi Arabia

In a country where women are not allowed to drive, bumper cars have become an unlikely alternative to real automobiles. Unlike men, most of whom love nothing more than to bump each other when using the popular amusement park attractions, Saudi Arabian women prefer to cruise beside each other while honing their driving skills.

For reasons that are hard to understand in the Western world, women in Saudi Arabia are still forbidden to drive. Despite moves towards rights for women under King Abdullah before his death, current crown prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud recently said that the Saudi community “is not convinced about women driving”. It’s hard to predict if things will ever change in that regard, but in the meantime, Saudi women have found an ingenious way to practice driving – riding bumper cars.

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In Sierra Leone, New Drivers Have to Play a Board Game to Get Their License

Authorities in Sierra Leone have found a really cool and ingenious way to deal with their very undisciplined and uneducated drivers who are involved in thousands of accidents every year – a fun board game meant to be played for several months by any newbie wanting a driver’s license. Before actually being allowed to get behind the wheel, players will find themselves in realistic situations where the only way out is to give the right answers to traffic law and conduct questions.

The game, called “The Drivers’ Way”, might look like your regular board game but it has a quirky twist – the rules of the game are real driving rules and players move pieces modeled like classic cars around a colorful board as they advance. The dice is cleverly made into a traffic light but even if the light is green, players still have to tackle tough traffic law tests to go further. If they fail the tests or have a broken tail light, they get a fine, just like in real life. The game, which apparently plays a bit like Scrabble, seems easy enough if you know your signs and speed limits. Thousands of copies of the game have already been made, each costing 60,000 Leones (about $14). Sarah Bendu, executive director of Sierra Leone’s Road Transport Authority explains that “they (novice drivers) will have to pay for it. Then they will play it for two or three months, or maybe just one if they’re smart enough, then they will come for their test.”  I’m guessing that after playing it months on end, the West African country will have some seriously determined drivers.

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