The Chinese government has completed plans to introduce a carpool lane in Shenzhen City to help reduce congestion on the roads.
HOV lanes are still rare in China but have existed in the United States since the late 1960s. Countries like Canada, Australia and New Zealand have also adopted the rules.
All drivers who wish to drive on the carpool lane must have at least one passenger in the vehicle during rush hours on week days. It will be referred to as a HOV lane, the report says.
The use of such lanes will first be launched on the Binhai Road which is a freeway connecting the Nanshan and Futian districts.
Traffic authorities announced the rules and regulations guiding use of the carpool lanes to the general public yesterday at a press conference:
- Small vehicles with no more than nine seats must carry at least two occupants, including the driver.
- The above rule must be observed in the lane from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays;
- And from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. also on weekdays.
- One passenger at least 12 years in age must sit in the front seat.
The operations will be tested from April 18. Official use of the lane for the general public starts on April 25.
The traffic police rep confirmed that a total of 300-yuan ticket (around 46 U.S. dollars) will be issued as tickets for violations. Such defaults will also be recorded on the personal credit records of drivers.
With the new recording system, any driver found guilty of violating road traffic laws will consequently lose credit scores on employment, loans and more to be considered by the government.
The affected road in Shenzhen serves about 7,000 passenger cars per hour at peak hours. Many car owners drive alone as single passengers at 74.2 percent of the total vehicles. Reports say an estimated 3 million operational vehicles has been recorded in Shenzhen.
The highly crowded and polluted city shares same border with Hong Kong.
Air pollution from cars has created serious health problems for the residents pushing some to relocate to other cities for safety, according to the Shenzhen city government.
The government has made it very hard for potential car owners since 2014. It has become very hard not to raise the cash for new or used cars, but it is nearly impossible to get registered car plates to drive in most big cities.
Now car owners can only get vehicle license plates through lottery or auction.