As misunderstandings go, this is quite a big one.

Here’s a lesson in the value of reading up on traffic laws in any foreign country you may be visiting. A family of Chinese tourists was held by police at gunpoint after unwittingly leading a chase because the driver didn’t know the flashing blue lights meant they had to pull over.

The chase began when a patrol car attempted to pull over a Honda CR-V on I-8 east, near San Diego. According to San Diego Police Department, the car initially came to a stop in the middle lane of the freeway, before accelerating and continuing to drive for another few minutes before finally pulling onto the shoulder.

Officers surrounded the car, weapons drawn. A female passenger got out of the car, clearly confused, followed by the driver. A three-year old boy was also in the car. Fortunately, the family were able to explain they were tourists on vacation and that they didn’t know what the blue lights meant. It seems highway patrols don’t really exist in China.

Once the police had explained their error, the family was sent on its way without any citations, a few SDPD stickers, one hell of a story to tell and a little bit of internet notoriety.

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