BEIJING (via CGTN) – A driver from east China’s Shandong Province has peitioned the Beijing court for a review of what she calls “unconstitutional” traffic laws in the capital.
The driver, identified by her surname Wang, went to court after she was fined 100 yuan (around USD$15) in October for driving her car with out-of-town licence plates on a road in Beijing restricted to such vehicles during certain periods of the day.
The Chang’an Avenue, a major thoroughfare that cuts through the heart of Beijing on which the driver was riding, is one of the roads on which cars registered outside the city are banned between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. every day, according to rules introduced by Beijing’s municipal government in 2015.
The regulations are part of larger road space rationing packages implemented gradually throughout the years by the local government to tackle the city’s notorious hellish traffic gridlocks and choking pollution, while ensuring road safety. They include the “odd-even rule” according to which cars’ access to roads depends on the last digit of their plates, increases in parking fees, curbs on vehicle purchase programs supported by the government, and a ceiling limiting the number of plates issued every year, among others.
In the last decade, Beijing has seen an increase in the number of new cars that is disproportional with its roads’ capacity. Between 2004 and 2015, Beijing-registered cars have increased by 150 percent to five million vehicles, while driving roads expanded by some 58 percent.