Beijing to Follow Shenzhen in Limiting Electric Bikes

作者:未知 来源:中国国际广播电台 2016-04-06 我要评论( )

The new regulations issued by Beijing's Traffic Management Bureau ban certain classes of "non-motorized" vehicles from ten local streets.

Starting next week, violators will face a small fine.

Authorities say the rule is meant to help ensure safety and smooth traffic flows.

The move by authorities in Beijing comes just days after officials in the southern city of Shenzhen launched similar regulations.

Liu Xiaoding with the Shenzhen traffic police bureau says their traffic control measures ban or limit electric bikes in many more areas of the city.

"Currently, within the original Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, about 85% of the roads are covered under the regulation, which also covers all major and secondary traffic ways outside the zone. These areas usually have high traffic volume and are situated near major roads, subways and bus stations."

Electric bicycles have become increasingly popular in recent years among Chinese commuters and couriers.

However, many of these electric bikes can match the speeds of motorcycles, which authorities say poses dangers to both the riders and pedestrians.

Last year, accidents involving electric bikes led to 114 deaths in Shenzhen, accounting for more than a quarter of the total number of traffic related deaths in that city.

Beijing has reported similar numbers.

However, Shenzhen's measures are being blasted by express courier and other delivery services, which rely mainly on electric bikes.

While Shenzhen's government insists the regulations are not aimed specifically at the delivery sector, the manager of a local express delivery company says his business has been severely impacted.

"25 or 26 of our electric bikes have been confiscated by authorities, due to violations of the traffic control measures. Even our managers now have to go out on delivery trips. Our delivery numbers have been growing steadily over the past three years. Back then, we moved about 4,000 parcels a day. Now we have 10,000 to deliver."

Addressing this problem, Professor Wang Jingbo from the China University of Political Science and Law says a blanket-ban on electric bicycles doesn't address the overall issue of traffic safety.

"There are things that can be done to ensure traffic safety using other approaches, beyond just banning and limiting certain vehicles. Technology is helping develop new types of vehicles. But does that mean we have to ban all of them? In terms of developing green transportation, electric bikes are more environmentally-friendly, and also take up less road space than a motorcycle. Traffic accidents are caused by many factors, so simply banning these vehicles from the roads doesn't do much to improve traffic safety."

The ten restricted roads in Beijing include sections of Chang'an avenue and streets around Tian'anmen Square.

The new rules do not affect pedal-powered bicycles.

For CRI, I'm Victor Ning.

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