Hong Kong mainland China driving scheme
The Hong Kong mainland China driving scheme (Chinese: 自駕遊計畫) is a cross-border driving scheme which allows drivers of cars with primary registration in mainland China to drive directly to Hong Kong. Currently, mainland cars have the driver seat on the left, while HK cars have driver seat on the right. Historically HK was a British colony before 1997, and adapted driving on the same side of the road as the British.
While Hong Kong is a party to the Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, the PRC is not a party to the convention. As a result prior to the introduction of this pilot scheme, Hong Kong vehicles have to apply for PRC's registration number plates to cross the border, and vice versa.
In the second phase, cars from the mainland will be allowed to enter Hong Kong. 50 mainland cars will be allowed to enter Hong Kong every day from the mainland, seven days a week. There cannot be a total of more than 350 mainland cars in the city. The 350 cars limit is expected to increase to 500 in the future.
 Initial reaction
On 7 February, the Civic Party launched a signature-collection drive in Wan Chai to see if people were against the new driving scheme. In just 90 minutes, over 1,200 signatures were collected in opposition to mainland drivers coming to HK. About 40,000 Facebook users were against the scheme. Legislative council member Tam Yiu-chung of the pro-Beijing Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong is a supporter of the new policy. There were plans earlier by the HK government to control air pollution and reduce car counts in the city. This scheme seems to have contradict the government's own plan.
 Feb 12 protest
On 12 February about 300 people protested against the scheme. Transport secretary Eva Cheng tried to calm the local citizens by saying it was "just a trial scheme". This event has been tied to Kong Qingdong's comment about HK citizens being the British running dog during the Early 2012 Hong Kong protests.
 Feb 19 protest
On 19 February, about 1600 people protested in HK against the arrival of mainland drivers. About 22 non-government organisations participated. Some nicknames given the protest including: "suicide travel" (自殺遊) and "despicable travel" (賤格遊). The protest asked HK drivers to not fill any application to drive north into China. Doing so will be accepting the scheme thus betraying fellow HK citizens. The march started from Causeway Bay.
Also about 10 members of the pro-Beijing camp Liberal Party led by Miriam Lau took part in a small protest at the Legislative Council Complex against the second phase of the scheme. She said there are currently far too many cars that want to travel south (from mainland to HK), and there are liability problems. She wants to consider canceling the second phase.
 See also
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: HK mainland driving scheme|
- "下月推自駕遊只准港車北上". Paper.wenweipo.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- New entry plan for mainland cars - South China morning post 9 Feb 2012.
- 來源:金羊網-新快報 發表時間︰2012-01-12 09:02 (2012-01-12). "粵港車自駕游可望3月上路 先試港車赴廣東_新聞中心_金羊網". Big5.ycwb.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- 作者：麻美由真. "粵港車自駕游3月成行 廣東景區迎來新機遇-旅遊新聞-新浪新聞中心". News.sina.com.tw. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
- "世界新聞網-北美華文新聞、華商資訊 - 粵港自駕遊 4萬港民fb說不". Worldjournal.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- "粤港3月实施自驾游试验 暂只许港车赴内地". politics.gmw.cn. 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-02-15.
- "香港成报-粵港自駕遊 今日非適宜". Singpao.com. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- "AFP: Hundreds march in Hong Kong against mainland cars". Google.com. 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2012-02-21.
- "世界新聞網-北美華文新聞、華商資訊 - 1600人上街 反自駕遊". Worldjournal.com. 2012-02-10. Retrieved 2012-02-21.