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Beijing expands horn-free area to 5th-ring road
2007-04-10 02:31:55 Shanghai Daily

SHANGHAI, April 10 -- Anyone blowing a car horn inside the fifth ring road area in Beijing will face a fine of 100 yuan (US$12.90) under the new traffic rules set out by the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau.

The rule, which is expected to come into effect on Sunday, will require drivers to silence their horns when driving inside the fifth ring road area in the Chinese capital, the Beijing Morning Post reported today.

The prohibition will expand the current horn-free area from the fourth ring road to the fifth, a step consistent with the city's development, the newspaper report said, citing the Fengtai Transportation Team, a traffic supervisor in the fifth ring road area.

"The areas around the fourth ring road and the fifth one used to be suburban," said Zhang Jicai, a traffic policeman with the team. "But now, more people are moving to the area with the development of urbanization."

The new rule will offer residents living in the high-density traffic areas some relief from the ear-splitting nuisance of blaring car horns, Zhang said.

Drivers are allowed to sound horns inside the fifth ring road only in emergencies with volumes lower than 105 decibel and less than three times. Each horn blast is supposed to last less than half a second, according to the country's laws on road traffic management.

However, the report said the sound of blaring car horns was ubiquitous in the capital and many drivers have little idea of how to use the horns properly in a decent way.

Effective implementation of the new requirement will take time and needs more publicity, Zhang explained.

In Shanghai, a ban on sounding horns inside the inner ring road area was adopted on July 1, 1994 by the city's public security bureau and environment protection bureau. Currently, the horn-free area also covers the outer ring road area. However, it is not always followed or enforced.

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