Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

HK Government Pushing To Ban Idling Car Engines To Tackle Pollution – 03 January 2009

HONG KONG: The Hong Kong government is pushing for a law to force drivers to turn off their engines when parked. But the bid to cut down on the city’s air pollution is being met with fierce opposition from the transportation industry.

It seems Hong Kong’s smog problem may be getting worse. 2008 data reported in the local newspapers showed that in the city’s most crowded areas, the number of hours air pollution exceeded dangerous levels jumped by 14 per cent, compared to a year ago.

Vehicles have been pinpointed as the second largest air polluter in the city.

Kitty Poon, Acting Secretary for the Environment, said: “The banning of idling vehicles with running engines has been discussed in the community for several years. The government has gained strong support from the public to move forward.”

However, the transportation trade is not in support of the ban. Drivers argue that when it comes to Hong Kong’s sweltering summers, constantly turning off air-conditioning will turn off passengers.

They also said that starting and stopping engines so many times a day would burn out their vehicles’ battery.

The government has now softened some of the rules for public transportation, including an exemption for the first five taxis parked at a taxi stand.

The government hopes the new law will be enacted this year. – CNA/vm

Comments are closed.