Although Beijing imposed stringent driving restrictions during the city’s second red alert, which came to an end Tuesday at midnight, many residents were less than inclined to follow them.
When a red alert is called in Beijing, state imposed driving restrictions should theoretically reduce traffic by some 50 percent. Alternating each day, only cars with license plates ending in either an even or odd number are permitted to drive in an effort to reduce air pollution.
However, according to CCTV and Beijing News, 112,800 vehicles violated the restrictions during the four day red alert. The fine for driving on the wrong day is 100 yuan ($15) for every three hours on the road, which would peg the total fines at approximately $1.6 million.
Beijing drivers faced similar restrictions during the lead up to the military parade held to commemorate the end of World War II.
Other policies and restrictions faced by Beijing drivers include high prices for parking spaces that need to be purchased before buying a car, high prices for license plates, and campaigns to promote bicycle use. Despite all this, there are already too many drivers on Beijing’s heavily congested roads, which are among the worst in China.
Beijing has 4.3 million registered car users.