Cartoons

Magic plates disappear

“That’s not the type of magic plate I was after…”

Starsky and Hutch, the 1970s TV cops, regularly leaned out of the window of their Gran Torino car to stick a siren on its roof – before going on to break every traffic regulation in the book. But their counterparts in Hohhot in Inner Mongolia have never needed to bother. Instead their unmarked police cars have sported special number plates that allow them to run red lights, and speed past toll booths. Dubbed as ‘magic plates’ locally, they soon found their way into the hands of ‘well connected’ businessmen who (of course) used them to drive like Starsky. After a welter of complaints – Hohhotians said the plates were a safety hazard – the local government bowed to public outrage. All 700 magic plates have been withdrawn, reports the China Daily.


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