China imposes temporary car ban to clean up smog

The Chinese government has banned more than one million cars from Beijing roads over the next four days to test what effect that could have on smog reduction before the Olympics next year.

The Chinese government has bannedmore thanone million cars from Beijing roads over the next four days to test what effectthatcould have on smog reduction beforethe Olympics next year.

Cars drive Friday during peak traffic on the first day of a test to reduce car numbers in Beijing, China. ((Ng Han Guan/Associated Press))

The city is using an odd-even licence plate number system, so only vehicles with licence plates ending in odd numbers are being allowed on roads Friday.

"By and large, the Chinese obeyed the rules this morning," said the CBC's Michel Cormier, reporting from Beijing.

Violators will be fined the equivalent of $15and ordered to return home.

"This is really a test to see if reducing the number of cars will reduce the pollution," he said.

Ifthe test isa success, they may have the same rules during the 2008 Olympic Games.

But Cormier said he spoke with a Canadian doctor who is monitoring air pollution for the Canadian Olympic Committee who said that his readings by the stadium were "off the charts."

"According to him, the air quality was not good enough to do competitions today," Cormier said. "It's a still a long way from improving."

With files from the Associated Press