Northern China has been covered gradually worsening smog for days. Many areas have seen pollution alerts being issued for three times. Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei province, has decided to take strict traffic control measures.
On a warning board at one of the major highway ramps into Shijiazhuang city, traffic police are telling drivers to turn around if their car plates end with the numbers 1 or 6.
“Today is Sunday and many schools are open, so there are more cars than we expected. We’ve now turned 200 cars back,” said Wang Lei, Deputy Director of Yudong Traffic Police Station.
The move to limit the number of cars according to license plates is expected to have a visible effect on the air and on the roads.
“Shijiazhuang counts nearly 700,000 motor vehicles. The restriction could slash that number by 30 percent,” said Yu Yingjie, Deputy Director of City Police Transportation Bureau.
Traffic police have set over 500 check points in the city to dissuade people from using their cars. Although many people are still unaware of the restriction, most are willing to cooperate.
“It’s a little inconvenient, but I think it’s good for the air quality,” said a driver in Shijiazhuang.
Similar measures to limit car use are being implemented in other big cities, especially in north China. The severe air pollution is pushing local authorities to take all approach in reducing pollution, not only by cutting car emissions, but also by shutting down polluting plants and limit their productions.
This story is compiled with information from the CCTV News Content.