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March 1, 2012

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Home » Metro » Environment

Number of vehicles in city zooms past 2.5 million

THE number of registered vehicles in the city jumped nearly 10 percent last year to reach 2.51 million, Shanghai traffic police said yesterday.

Included are 1.19 million private cars, up from the 1.03 million in 2010.

The soaring number of vehicles has left the city with road congestion, air pollution and insufficient parking places.

Among the biggest concerns is exhaust from motor vehicles, which are the biggest source of the city's PM2.5 emissions, according to Shanghai environmental authorities.

Meanwhile, road safety still faces "harsh challenges," traffic police said, despite the fact that road deaths saw a slight decline last year. Some 940 people died last year in road accidents, a 3.48 percent decline from 2010. Injuries also decreased, police said.

The bidding policy for Shanghai car plates, which aims to curb the total number of cars by pushing up the price of registration, didn't seem to do much to halt the trend of ever-increasing cars.

That's partly because more and more locals register their cars in other provinces, which are much cheaper and easier to get, then risk riding to restricted areas despite the fines.

Cars with out-of-town license plates are limited to Shanghai's elevated roads during rush hour.

The city government plans to increase the number of parking spaces downtown in the next five years to try to alleviate the long-term parking problem.

Meanwhile, locals' driving manners and poor traffic order are the top concern among the city's expats, according to a survey by Shanghai Daily. About 71 percent of expats said that bad driving habits combined with jaywalking is the biggest threat to public security in Shanghai.

"We all have been nearly run over by a driver turning without care at an intersection, even though they have a red light," an expat told Shanghai Daily.


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