Beijing will employ greater restrictions on automobile use during periods of heavy pollution, Beijing News reported Friday.

Odd-even license plate restrictions were used during the 2008 Olympics and again during November 2014's Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting, to reduce both pollution and traffic. The temporary restrictions during APEC, and the resulting "APEC Blue" skies, led to calls from some Beijingers to institute odd-even car restrictions permanently.

If an orange or red pollution alert is issued, odd-even restrictions will go into effect.

Beijing air quality improved by about 15 percent during the first half of 2015, but PM 2.5 readings are still twice as high as the Beijing municipal government's goal of 35.

Photo: Asia One

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