I knew that Beijing has been cracking down on pollution, but I didn't know how they were going about it. It looks like authorities have banned vehicles on alternate days based on the last number of the vehicle's license plate. However, a representative of the Beijing Municipal Committee of Communications has said they will not extend the law after the end of the Olympic games.
I had heard about bans like this before in Mexico City. I've been told that wealthier families would often buy two cars and drive them on alternate days. As far as I have been able to find out, it looks like this idea started in 1986 with a program called Proconve in Sao Paolo. Apparently, local authorities have attributed large reductions in gaseous pollutants to the program. I'd love to know how many families have opted to buy multiple vehicles to get around restrictions like these. How much more pollution is created by this additional demand for vehicles?