Confused Chinese Tourists Involved In High-Speed Chase on San Diego Freeway

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A family of three very confused Chinese tourists recently experienced the thrill of a real American high-speed chase.

At around 11:45 p.m. Sunday, a San Diego police cruiser attempted to pull over a Honda CR-V carrying a family of Chinese tourists on vacation, but what should have been a routine traffic stop turned into a rather peculiar incident.

At first, the car came to a sudden stop in the middle of Interstate 8 in Mission Valley, but then the driver hit the gas and sped off. The police pursued the vehicle for several minutes before the car finally pulled over near Mission Gorge Road.

As police surrounded the vehicle with their guns drawn, a frightened and bewildered Chinese woman stepped out of the vehicle. The woman’s husband and son were asked to step out of the vehicle.

After talking with the family, the San Diego police officers learned that in China it is extremely rare for police to pull over cars for speeding. In most Chinese cities, the traffic administrations under the public security bureaus rely on traffic cameras, which most Chinese drivers quickly learn to dodge. The Chinese family saw the lights and heard the sirens, but they had no idea that they were actually supposed to stop.

Chinese tourists don’t exactly have the world’s best reputation, with examples of incidents involving everything from singing the Chinese national anthem to protesting delayed flights to trying to open the emergency exit on an aircraft because the plane was “stuffy” to defecating in unacceptable locations.

This situation, however, was not like some of the other ones. This incident, which could have easily evolved into an international incident, was little more a simple misunderstanding and had a relatively-happy ending.

The police officers informed the family that drivers are required to pull over if they see a police car flashing red and blue lights in the rearview mirror. The officer let the family off with a warning and sent them on their way.

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