What's the buzz
Updated: 2013-08-19 07:58
As more Chinese cities propose to use license-plate lotteries and other ways to limit the number of cars on the road, consumers are responding by buying more expensive vehicles with higher horsepower engines. For example, in Shanghai, one of the four major cities implementing policies to dissuade people from buying cars in order to ease traffic jams and pollution, 9,000 to 10,000 plates are auctioned every month, fetching an average of 82,000 yuan ($13,400) a car so far this year. Putting the expensive plates on more expensive cars makes sense because as fewer plates raise the cost of owning a car, buyers can rationalize paying more for their cars and believe the restrictions could limit them from trading up later. The following are the views of China Daily's mobile phone news readers on the issue:
The current restriction policy cannot fundamentally solve the serious environmental problem. What we need to do is to make people more aware of the damage to the environment and encourage them to do their bit to reduce pollution. Besides, the government should spend more on public transportation services to make them more convenient and prompt people to use their cars as little as possible.
WANGYOUCAO, Hangzhou, Zhejiang province
The government should impose a special tax on car owners according to the level of pollution they cause. A standard pollution limit should be set, and car owners exceeding the limit should be made to pay the tax accordingly. And people who own more than one car should be compelled to pay a higher tax.
A READER, Yan'an, Shaanxi province
Although the license-plate lottery system will help ease traffic jams, it will also create some problems. For example, the imbalance between supply and demand and the small probability of a person winning a license-plate number will make it difficult to meet people's need to travel. Hence, the government should improve the flow of traffic and make good traffic management one of the criteria of local governments' performance assessment.
QING, Ji'an, Jiangxi province
Urban authorities should earmark more exclusive lanes for buses and bicycles, and reduce the number of car lanes to encourage more people to use public transport. They should also create an environment that encourages people to use buses and subway trains or bicycles, rather than drive cars, to commute to and from work.
JASON, Foshan, Guangdong province
Given the severe level of environmental pollution and increasingly erratic weather pattern, the government should curb the rapid growth of private cars. And relevant departments should take steps to improve the public transport system by building more subways and light rails and lowering ticket prices to prompt car owners to gradually change their mode of travel.
The use of cars has to be restricted because of the rapidly rising urban population and environmental pollution. Some people are buying expensive cars with more powerful engines partly driven by false pride and lack of environmental awareness. The government has to use traditional, social and new media to educate people about the dangers of environmental pollution and change their immature consumption views.
(China Daily 08/19/2013 page9)