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Backlash against electric bike ban in Shenzhen city center districts
Global Times | June 14, 2011 06:33
By Wen Ya
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A recent policy in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province to prohibit electric bicycles from entering the city’s major districts has caused controversy among local residents.

Electric bicycles in Shenzhen are forbidden to enter districts including Futian, Luohu and Bao’an from June 6 to December 5, according to Shenzhen Public Security Bureau.

Starting on July 1, electric bicycle riders will be fined 200 yuan ($31). The electric bicycles will be confiscated if their riders refuse to pay the fine, according to the Xinhua News Agency.

The main reason behind the ban is the number of traffic accidents they cause, an official of Shenzhen traffic police bureau was quoted by Xinhua as saying. A total of 268 traffic accidents were caused by electric bicycles in 2010, killing 64 people, the report said.

The policy has triggered controversy among people in Shenzhen.

“I oppose the policy as it will bring great inconvenience to the public. The authority didn’t investigate the real traffic situation nor collect public opinions before making the policy,” a salesman surnamed Chen in Futian district, told the Global Times Monday.

A resident surnamed Cai in Bao’an district said he was angry at the news.

“Every day I ride my electric bike to work for at least half an hour,” Cai told the Global Times.

There are 500,000 electric bicycles in Shenzhen currently according to Xinhua.

 However, some back the policy for considering safety and comfort issues.

“I always see electric bikes running red lights, making me frightened to cross the roads,” Yang Xiaoling, a 20-year-old woman in Luohu district, told the Global Times.

Public policy experts said the policy would affect the authorities’credibility.

“People buy the bicycles trusting that they will not be taken away, ” Wang Zhenyu, vice director of public policy-making research center at the China University of Public Science and Law, told the Global Times.

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