Magic plates disappear

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 All 700 magic plates have been withdrawn, reports the China Daily.

© ChinTell Ltd. All rights reserved.

Sponsored by HSBC.

The Week in China website and the weekly magazine publications are owned and maintained by ChinTell Limited, Hong Kong. Neither HSBC nor any member of the HSBC group of companies ("HSBC") endorses the contents and/or is involved in selecting, creating or editing the contents of the Week in China website or the Week in China magazine. The views expressed in these publications are solely the views of ChinTell Limited and do not necessarily reflect the views or investment ideas of HSBC. No responsibility will therefore be assumed by HSBC for the contents of these publications or for the errors or omissions therein.