China's May Day holiday is coming up this weekend, meaning Shenzhen's scenic Dapeng Peninsula will once again be packed with surfers and sightseers alike.
Local traffic police are doing things a little differently, however: for the first time, they're requiring those driving to Dapeng's southern regions (see map below) to RSVP online or face fines of RMB300 and a 3-point driving deduction.
The traffic-regulating scheme applies only to the period of the holiday, April 29-May 1. A maximum of 30,000 registrations are allowed each day.
The rule applies to any passenger vehicle with nine or fewer seats, including cars hailed through ride-share apps. Taxis, trucks, emergency vehicles and cars seating 10 or more people are exempt, as are people just passing through, or who live or work in Dapeng.
READ MORE: Daytripper: Dapeng Fortress
Registration, which opened this past Monday, is required only for the day you enter the area. You can leave at any time, but if you return the next day, you'll have to RSVP again to enter.
Drivers are also allowed to cancel their reservation up to the day of their planned visit, which is important, since three missed appointments within one year shuts you out of the RSVP system entirely.
License plate recognition tech will be used on major roads to catch and punish rule-breakers, according to Shenzhen traffic police.
This isn't the first time local police have used registration as a way to rein in overcrowding in tourist spots. Starting last May, notoriously popular Dameisha started requiring RSVPs before visits.
Depending on how the road reservation system works out in Dapeng, traffic police may decide to continue deploying it during holidays, or even expand to Shenzhen's Meisha beaches, adding an extra layer of regulation for would-be swimmers and sunbathers.
Still want to go to Dapeng? You can RSVP through Shenzhen traffic police's website as well as official WeChat account. See steps for WeChat reservation below.
1. Enter the official WeChat account
Not following Shenzhen traffic police on WeChat yet? We don't blame you.
Search for ID 'szjjwx' or the name 深圳交警 and hit 'follow,' then tap the menu button at bottom right. Select the second option.
2. Fill out the form
First, fill in some details about your vehicle. Select the character of the province written on your plate, then enter in the number. Next, choose the appropriate plate type.
For the next blank, fill in the last four digits of your vehicle identification number, which is usually found on the driver's side of the dashboard, your car's insurance policy and the vehicle registration form.
If you're departing from Shenzhen, you'll be prompted to input a point of departure, right down to the street-level area of administration.
If you're not sure which area you're in, make an educated guess and choose the street closest to you. If you're not leaving from Shenzhen, simply select '其他市' from the city drop-down menu and the rest will automatically be filled out for you.
Finally, choose the time interval during which you'll enter Dapeng, whether it's morning (12am-12pm), afternoon (12-6pm) or night (6pm-12am). Time slots are colored according to availability, with green meaning it's relatively uncrowded. Extra popular times are red, while unavailable slots are gray.
The text below basically repeats what we've stated above, with one important exception: If, due to traffic, you won't be able to enter Dapeng until after your appointed time, call 8333 3333 to skip the fine. Drivers can call up to 12 hours after their planned time of entry.
Click the blue button at the bottom to submit the form.
3. Wait for a text
Once you've successfully made an RSVP, you'll receive a confirmation text. To check your reservations, enter the platform through the WeChat account again (see step 1) and click the tab on the right. Enter your phone number, click the button on the right for a confirmation code, and then tap the bottom button to see your appointments.