Beijing Drivers Could Face Fines for Traveling on the Wrong Day

Beijing's pollution 1 photo
Photo: Bloomberg
It is a well-known fact that Beijing is confronting with dangerous levels of pollution, and the officials are trying to do everything in their power to somehow address this issue. The Government responded to this phenomenon by implementing a four-day alert when cars could only be driven in alternate days. Those who broke this rule are now likely to face a total of $1,6 million in fines.
The cars would be allowed on roads depending on whether their number plate ended in an odd or even number. Recent statistics showed that in just four days, a number of 112,800 vehicles violated this rule. The fine for driving on the wrong day is $15 (100 yuan).

During the four-day alert, other things such as factory or construction works and even barbecues have been restricted.

Beijing experienced its first red alert in December, when the city was on lockdown because the air had a pollution index of over ten times the maximum level recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). Because of this, all the schools were shut down, and all outdoor activities halted.

Apparently, to blame for this extreme pollution are the increasing number of cars (no less than 5.6 million vehicles are registered in the Chinese capital city, of which 4.3 million are private cars) and the construction sites that release huge quantities of dirt and dust all over the city. On top of that all, China is still relying on coal-generated electric power and heating.

According to the WHO, long-term exposure to PM2.5 can cause severe lung damage and respiratory illnesses. Although PM2.5 readings of 25 grams per cubic meter are considered by the same institution as the maximum safe level, during the recent red alert, the pollution index indicated 508 on Tuesday, as BBC reports.

Other external factors that are influencing the air quality include the weather conditions or the city’s geography. The capital city is bordered by large polluting industrial areas and by mountains that trap all the dirty air over the city.

Beijing is not the only capital city that confronts with alarming pollution readings. Recently, India’s Supreme Court banned all new diesel cars sales in Delhi and doubled a tax imposed on trucks coming into the city, also due to heavy pollution.
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