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Chinese Police gestures – A helpful guide

As a country boasting some of the largest cities accommodated with the biggest populations in the world, China undoubtedly has the most busy streets. Even though first-tier cites often have a complete web of the underground metro system, the on-ground traffic at rush hours is still inevitably ineffective, or even chaotic. If you can avoid driving at these hours, you will probably see Chinese traffic polices on the streets giving hand signals to control the huge flow of traffic at some busy intersections. If that’s your case, understand the meaning of policemen’s gestures can be not only handy but also save you from getting tickets and have your points deducted.

The 8 gestures listed and explained in this article are according to the 2019 updates from China Traffic Administrative Office. The image on the left is what you’ll see from the Chinese driver’s license test, and the animation on the right is what the gestures will look like in action.

1. Stop sign

Stop Sign

Explanation: Auto vehicles in front of the police shall stop moving ahead.

2. Move forward sign

Move forward sign

Explanation: Auto vehicles should move forward.

3. Turn left sign

Explanation: Allow auto vehicles to turn left and make a U-turn when not hindering other vehicles that are allowed to drive.

4. Wait to turn left sign

Wait to turn left sign

Explanation: Allow auto vehicles on the left that are waiting to turn left enter the intersection, approach to the center of the intersection along the track of turning left and wait for the turn left signal to turn green.

5. Turn right sign

Turn right sign

Explanation: Allow auto vehicles on the right to turn right.

6. Change track sign

change lane sign

Explanation: Auto vehicles driving on the indicated lane should change track to empty the indicated lane and slow down.

7. Slow down sign

Slow down sign

Explanation: Auto vehicles should slow down.

8. Pullover sign

Pullover sign

Explanation: Auto vehicles should pullover on the side of the street.


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