The Nanfang / Blog

Foreigner in Shenzhen heading to jail… for driving without a license

Posted: 11/19/2013 10:00 am

After being stopped by police, image courtesy of Sina Weibo

It’s common for foreigners in China to drive a car or motorcycle without a license, but a few will probably be questioning their decision after a New Zealander was jailed for 15 days for failing to have the proper documents.

The law is quite strict and gives police the authority to detain those driving without a license, but they do have discretion. Many foreigners have been let off the hook because police can’t be bothered to get translators and processing them is just too ma fan.

This particular foreigner wasn’t so lucky. He was caught by traffic police in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District on Friday (Nov. 15) riding a motorcycle without a license, Shenzhen Traffic Police reported on their microblog.

According to the cops, after the man was stopped on Taizi (Prince Edward) Road, he was found to only possess a C1 driving license, which does not enable him to ride a motorcycle.

Explaining himself to the cops, image courtesy of Sina Weibo

Despite him being detained, 15 days in the clink won’t make him among the Pearl River Delta’s more long-term prisoners.  However, even if he had had a license, the vehicle itself may have been illegal as Shenzhen has been cracking down on the use of e-bikes for several years.


Ushering in the New Year with a bang? Won’t be happening in the PRD

Posted: 02/9/2013 7:00 am

Fireworks are a staple of ushering in the Chinese New Year but a last-minute ban cancellation has let all the air out of the balloon.  That’s right, there are no big fireworks celebrations north of Hong Kong in the PRD.

It’s as if Santa has cancelled Christmas – but it does offer light relief to the many weeks of smog filled air.

HERE! Dongguan reported this:

In February’s issue, the Editor’s Picks has a list of places to see fireworks for the Chinese New Year celebration. Those have all been cancelled at the last minute.

Following the lead of Guangzhou, who cancelled the shows citing pollution and budget concerns. Dongguan’s Propaganda Department had this to say: “There are better ways to celebrate the new year.”

The move to ban fireworks was first initiated by Guangzhou three months ago, citing concerns over air pollution and wanting to encourage a “low-carbon and environmentally-friendly lifestyle.” The rest of the PRD cities have followed Guangzhou’s lead.

Neighbouring Shenzhen has taken this one step further still. Police are taking a hard line over people who transport, sell or set off fireworks illegally. Those caught will be detained for up to 15 days and fined RMB2,000 for their troubles. Criminal charges will be slapped on anyone causing fires, explosions or injuries.

Want to know what you’ll be missing? This is a snapshot of the 30-minute-long fireworks on the Pearl River in Guangzhou from last year.  It’s all we’ve got to ring in the Year of the Snake.

If you really want to catch a fireworks display, they’ll light up Victoria Harbour in Hong Kong on Monday at 8pm.


YouTube: Sammie Kong


Ban on electric bikes in Shenzhen won’t be lifted soon, despite rumours

Posted: 09/20/2011 11:33 am

This is a translation of an article which appeared in the Nanfang Daily.

Recently, word that Shenzhen has lifted its ban on electric bikes has circulated quietly over the internet. According to some sources, e-bikes that accord with the national technical standards are now permitted on local roads. Some e-bike salespeople have even claimed that the ban on e-bikes has been completely abandoned in Shenzhen and any newly-bought e-bikes can hit the road.

However, after digging deeper into the source of the rumours, it’s not hard to discover that it is not exactly as it seems.

According to the spokesman of Shenzhen’s Traffic Police Department, Xu Wei, the department is mainly educating drivers and issuing warnings to managing on-road e-bikes because couriers and other delivery staff do need to use electronic bikes.

Xu stressed that other illegal activity, such as carrying passengers, relevant punishment will still apply.

As confirmed by Shenzhen People’s Congress, the “Regulations of Shenzhen Special Economic Zone on Punishments in Roads and Traffic Control” hasn’t yet been implemented. While it does mention granting e-bike licenses to industries with special needs, the general principal is still to prohibit their use in areas with matched public transportation. That means it’s very likely that the e-bike ban will still prevail in most areas in Shenzhen.

While more than 500,000 e-bike riders have gone through several ups and downs in the past three months, it seems unlikely that the ban will be lifted anytime soon.



Walk, drive or take a taxi: electric bikes now banned in Shenzhen

Posted: 06/7/2011 9:08 pm

Anyone who’s driven around Shenzhen (or… practically any city in China) can attest to the traffic gridlock. That’s to say nothing of the thick haze of gray dust that often hangs over the city, which sticks to your clothes in this hot and humid weather. One would think to rid ourselves of both problems, riding bicycles — or for longer distances, electric bicycles — would help. For many people, it has; the problem is, according to Shenzhen, these bikes are also resulting in too many traffic accidents. So the city has taken it upon itself to ban the bikes, effective this week. Details from NDTV:

The ban will be effective till December 5 when the city authorities will review it to see if further ban is needed, it said.

Electric bike riders will be persuaded off roads this month and face fines of 200 yuan starting next month, Xinhua reported.

The ban was justified by officials stating that electric bikes were blamed for 64 deaths in 268 roads accidents last year.

The city has over 500,000 electric bikes and the ban is believed to greatly increase the operational costs of express delivery companies.

All over China, including capital Beijing, noiseless electric bikes are becoming immensely popular as more and more people opted for them to beat the traffic jams and reduce transport costs.

The sad part here is that electric bikes, whatever their failings, did help resolve both traffic congestion and pollution. One would think finding a way to accommodate them, rather than ban them entirely, might be a more suitable solution. We’ll see if this ban is permanent (money is on ‘yes’) come December.



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