Implicit understanding

Although somewhere some local government has a little bit of their own traffic codes, it is almost all the same codes in the same country. It must be the same but we can see differences when we go to other places. We have some implicit understanding between local people even though we have explicit traffic codes.

Before I had a chance to live in Fukuoka, Westside of Japan, I noticed that they have road etiquettes which differ from what I knew before. They never stop when the signal is at the end of yellow or the beginning of red. 50cc motorcycle riders drive inner side of the road when they make a right turn (same as left turn in the US or many other countries). They should drive outer side of the road and make a large turn. Actually, it’s a law (furthermore, they should make right turns the two-step way like pedestrians), but nobody obeys these rules and doing so seems to be their implicit understanding.

These kind of things are not only in Japan. In the US, I can recognize another thing. California people may stop when they can recognize pedestrians (I know only Bay Area, though), Chicago people never stop for pedestrians (same as Japan and Korea). Under the law, we should stop when we see them on the crosswalk, but their action depends on where they live. It seems like they have another set of road etiquettes implicitly. So, we have to know how people behave on the road when we go to new places.

I would say it is like a local custom which is beyond the law. Although we should not follow this kind of local custom which is actually illegal, sometime I have no choice but to obey it because some people pressure me using their horns, saying something like “Hey, what are you doing!? Get your ass moving!”

I’m curious who made this kind of etiquette? I know it is caused by something like the “invisible hand.”

Are you sure? Why are you waiting at the right-side of me?? You are supposed to be left-side!!

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