Beijing car ban

Chinese capital attempts to combat chronic heavy air pollution by banning cars on alternating days

In response to chronic heavy air pollution in the Chinese city of Beijing, city authorities have unveiled a new air-quality-control plan.

Whenever it is forecast that Beijing will be subject to three consecutive days of “serious” pollution—over 300 on the Air Quality Index (a measurement that would be deemed “hazardous” in the U.S.)—half of the city’s cars will be banned from the roads, according to The Christian Science Monitor. Cars bearing license plates ending in odd numbers will be allowed to drive only on odd-numbered days; those with even-numbered plates can drive on even-numbered days. Factories and schools will be closed on these “red-alert” days, and there will be a ban on barbecuing and using fireworks.

Singer Patti Austin recently canceled a scheduled Beijing appearance after suffering from a severe asthma attack on one of the city’s worst polluted days this year, according to The Hollywood Reporter.