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China Daily Website

Proposal would have Beijing vehicles tracked

Updated: 2013-01-25 09:20
By Jin Haixing ( China Daily)

A political adviser is suggesting an electronic license plate system for vehicles to help relieve Beijing's traffic problems.

The system would collect real-time data location information of the vehicles, Zhu Liang said at the ongoing session of the 12th Beijing Municipal Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Every month, each vehicle would be given a quota of traffic it could pass on busy roads during rush hours. When the quota is filled, the driver will have to pay an additional fee to continue using busy roads, he said.

Zhu Liang, a senior engineer from the Jiu San Society, said that the development of China's Beidou satellite navigation and positioning system and current Radio Frequency Identification technology made the electronic license plate system possible.

The system could give vehicle owners more flexibility during rush hours and it would also help the city's transport authority control total traffic flow and charge the vehicles for excess emissions.

The management of public vehicles in Beijing will become more effective if the electronic license plate system is adopted because of its tracing function, he said.

Since 2011, the capital started the car registration lottery system, which issues only 240,000 car licenses every year.

A traffic limit system was also employed in Beijing in which cars were barred from the roads on certain days depending on their license plate numbers.

Those regulations caused problems for people who urgently need to use a vehicle, Zhu said.

In 2012, Zhu made a similar proposal for an electronic license plate system. "The plan was not very clear last year. But now the need is urgent because of frequent pollution," he said.

The system could lower the demand for vehicle use and discourage vehicle owners whose cars have huge emissions, he said.

The privacy of vehicle drivers is a major concern, he acknowledged. Zhu said that the proposal should be discussed freely by the public, and the electronic license plates could be installed in public vehicles first.

Fang Li, deputy head of the municipal environmental protection bureau, said in the session that the plan will be a good way to control car emissions and traffic, but mobilizing public support will be a complicated process.

Since Dec 1, registered vehicles in Lanzhou, capital of Gansu province, applied a similar electronic license plate system to control traffic jams, according to a report on Gansudaily.com.cn.

The plates, which were provided at no cost to drivers, took only 10 minutes to install, the report said.


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