Chinese officials were so impressed by the “temporary” laws put in place during the Olympics to curb traffic congestion and pollution that they decided to make them not so temporary. They’ve decided to cut the number of cars on Beijing roads by 800,000 per day via a lottery.
The restriction goes into effect today, and affects 70 percent of vehicles, including government, private and corporate cars. Cars will be restricted one day per week based on their license plate number. Cars whose number plates end with 1 or 6 will be taken off roads on Monday, those ending with 2 or 7 will be banned on Tuesday, 3 or 8 on Wednesday, 4 or 9 on Thursday and 5 or 0 on Friday. The ban doesn’t apply on weekends.
The thing is, people aren’t obeying the law, and you can’t really expect them to. Some of the local media in Beijing are reporting an average of more than one violator per minute on some main roads. Those are the violators they see. Of course, people can also change their license plate, or alter the last number.