With the large population of China I have often heard about the one child policy to help control the over population. One thing I hadn't thought about was being able to control traffic with the millions of people wanting to get to work, school, etc. Today I learned some interesting laws about the traffic and how to differentiate license plates in such a big country as China.
License plates are unlike the ones seen in the United States. On the left of the license plate is a Chinese symbol to distinguish the providence. To the right of the symbol is a letter for the city. The letter "A" represents the capital city. The next 5 places to the right can have all numbers for government owned vehicles or a combination of letters and numbers for privately owned vehicles. To control the amount of traffic with such a large population the government imposes different laws for different providence's, as some have greater populations. In Beijing, for instance, the last number on the plate is important. For odd numbers they may only be able to drive on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Other providence's may charge a great price for the license plate that can sometimes be more expensive than the car itself, so fewer people will want to drive. These stipulations play a role in the huge number of bicycles and e-bikes used as alternatives. Also the price of a bicycle is only about 200 RMB which is definitely cheaper than a car and doesn't use gasoline.
I found the traffic laws to be interesting, because it controls the amount of people on the road to avoid huge backups and also reduces the amount of pollution by forcing people to use other modes of transportation such as bicycles. The United States is currently trying to "go green" and reduce pollution by saying you should choose alternatives other than driving everywhere or car pool to reduce the number of vehicles on the road, but without a government enforced law it's hard for people to change their ways.