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Drop-off time limit extended to 3 minutes
A traffic policeman talks to reporters at Shenzhen International Airport yesterday, saying drivers dropping off passengers at the departure hall of the airport’s new terminal will be allowed to take three minutes, rather than the initial two-minute time limit.Xiao Bingfeng

Han Ximin

ximhan@126.com

DRIVERS dropping off passengers at the departure hall of Shenzhen International Airport’s new terminal will be allowed to take three minutes, rather than the initial two-minute time limit, police said yesterday.

Drivers who fail to leave the drop-off area within three minutes can be fined 500 yuan (US$82), police reminded motorists yesterday. Police also said they’ll exempt drivers who were issued fines over the weekend for taking more than two minutes but left within three minutes. Twenty-nine drivers fall into that category, police said, accounting for 10 percent of the 291 violations police had recorded since the new terminal opened Thursday.

The extended drop-off time follows complaints from some drivers who said the two-minute limit was too short.

Previous tests at the airport’s former terminals A and B indicated it usually took between 27 and 56 seconds to drop off a passenger with baggage. The average time that vehicles lingered in front of terminals A and B was 2.18 minutes, including time drivers spent driving away. The terminals were often most congested between 6:10 a.m. and 7:10 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

Tests at the new terminal indicated congestion could easily occur if drivers fail to leave the drop-off area within three minutes.

During rush hours, the departure hall can see 2,100 vehicles per hour. The drop-off area can handle about 100 vehicles at a time, meaning if each vehicle stayed for three minutes a total of 63 minutes would be needed to accommodate all of the drop-offs within an hour. Police said this data reflects the drop-off area’s susceptibility to congestion if drivers take more than three minutes.

The daily vehicle flow at the airport has averaged 21,808 since the new terminal opened Thursday. An average of 17,757 of those vehicles, or 81 percent, were registered in Shenzhen. The airport saw a daily average of 3,999 vehicles, or 16 percent of the total, registered elsewhere in Guangdong Province.

Police said about two-thirds of the 291 two-minute violations were made by local vehicles, while 77 violations, or 26 percent, were made by vehicles with plates from other Guangdong cities, especially Dongguan and Guangzhou.

Drivers of 75 vehicles were fined for illegally using bus lanes.

Fifty-two drivers sought help from on-duty officers, or called a police hotline at 2777-6079, to ask police to let them park in a “green area” that allows longer stays. Police handled such requests for 34 drivers.

Police also reminded drivers that it’s illegal to park on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen Riverside Expressway to take photos or look at views of the new terminal. Violations can result in fines of up to 1,000 yuan and the addition of six penalty points to drivers’ licenses.

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