Kids double as speed bumps in small China town

Barbara Fieschi

Every child should be taught good manners – wipe your feet before entering the house, say thank you when given a biscuit, finish your parsnips and refrain from telling Grandma she smells like the attic.
And last but not least, say hello and goodbye. Conscientious parents will teach the "hello and goodbye" routine – generally accompanied by over-exaggerated waving motions – to their kids pretty much from birth.

Now in China, in the village of Huangping, the notion of politeness has been extended a notch, and kids must salute passing cars. Every child should salute passing cars on their way to and back from school. This rule, which has supposedly been passed to teach kids respect, actually doubles as a money saving scam. If kids make cars aware of their presence, no speed bumps will be needed around school areas, saving the town a bundle.

Needless to say, this is a little backwards but also could end up achieving the exact opposite. Drivers could start saluting back, becoming distracted and ending up smashing into trees. The road to school could end up scattered with fuming cars, broken poles and injured people. Kids could be in great danger.
They could also start getting confused between people and inanimate objects and start saluting everything around, turning playtime into a mad affair...