Urban Traffic Jam

Traffic Restriction, The BEST Or The WORST?

Group 60

Air pollution has been an increasing significant issue nowadays due to the requirement of social development. Some people believed that it is time to reduce the reliance of cars and make the air pollution controllable, but there is also a voice claimed that policies like traffic restriction are useless. The following articles will analyze all of them by using engineering ethics and list the solutions.

Traffic restriction? Why not?

Pakistan is currently the world’s most polluted urban area and there is a significant rise of fatality due to smog. Therefore, something has to be done to tackle this serious issue not just for Pakistan but the whole world. One of the ways to reduce the smog is by cutting down the number of cars per capita. This will clearly reduce the emission of pollutants such as volatile organic compounds(VOC), sulfur dioxide(S02) and nitrogen oxides(NOx) as gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles are the main releasing agents of these pollutants.

Urban Traffic JamFirstly, an Act have to be introduce by the government for all parties to abide to. For example, the UK can issue a new Act where it confines that by 2030, 50% of vehicles have to be powered by electric. This will certainly reduce emissions while also being a greener country. On the other hand, this new Act can also create opportunities for industries that specialize in electrification.

Introducing more transportation-based political campaigns can lead to a shift of paradigm in the society. Here, psychological effects are key as society is easily influenced by a prominent figure or normalized actions. Hence, setting up more campaigns can easily influence the public views on various matters including pollution by smog. With this, the public will start to opt for usage of public transportation such as train, buses, MRT and etc as an alternative.

Nowadays, trains are an important mode of transportation that is widely used in most countries to travel longer distances. However, steam-powered trains are a more dominant class for this transportation. Steam engines powered by coal generate pollutants that are harmful to the environment at an alarming rate. Therefore, electrification of trains is beneficial in combating air pollution. According to researchers, electric trains performs at a higher speed with a lower cost in comparison to steam powered trains. With this, the cost of trains will be cheaper and more affordable for public use. This will indirectly encourage people to use trains rather than cars when travelling.

Virtue ethics: In contrast, emphasizes the importance of moral character and focuses on individual character traits rather than on the kinds of ethical concepts such as rules, rights and norms. Politicians fall under virtue ethical frameworks.

Utilitarianism: By introducing the new law/ACT, there will be some disagreement from the public in terms of reducing usage of cars. However, the benefits of introducing the ACT surpass the cons.

In conclusion, there are multiple benefits in reducing the usage of fuel-powered cars to the society. Gasoline and Diesel is a non-renewable fuel which will be depleted in the future. Hence, planning ahead and evolving the transportation industry now is indeed beneficial to the community.

Traffic restriction? Seriously?!

Traffic restriction is a common decision made to improve the situation in majority of Asian countries. However, within the reduction of number of vehicles on road, growth of automobile load is still continually required by market demand which would easily lead to increasing volume of the emissions. Therefore, it has become a challenge for the engineer and government to solve the ethical issue about both demand of transportation and living environment.

The government always wishes to seek for a balance between the public satisfaction and urban development. However, the traffic restriction would sharply affect the economic benefit of manufacturer and fuel supplier, which also is the major concern of them. On the other hand, although the policy would relieve the transportation pressure, there is another huge influence on the convenience of citizen.

Fortunately, two well-designed projects can be used to improve the situation caused by air pollution. The first one is creation and development of new electric vehicles.  The innovation of cars has been considered for decades, but the real breakthrough of it just happened in the 21-centery. For example, the pioneer of electric-vehicle creation, Tesla, was continually losing money till unveiled Tesla Model S in 2012, which can be attributed to the supporting policy published by Obama government around 2010. The final consequence shows that the air pollution was controlled to the expectation conspicuously. Meanwhile, the electric cars also fit the public acceptance. Another project is the hybrid vehicle that means both fuel and electric power can be supplied. The rate of environmental improvement probably decreases, but the influence on the original structure of modern society would be sharply reduced.

On the other hand, both two options would not affect the original benefit of public and government. In fact, the creation of new power supplied vehicle can make not only more revenue for manufacturer, it also can push the development of technology and further, the whole society. However, the popularization of electric car probably would be a deadly blow to traditional fuel supplier.

‘Freedom’ also plays an important role for the comparison between these two options. For the electric vehicle, the benefit of fuel supplier is significantly hindered to maximize the others’ benefit. However, for the other option, the benefit and development for each participant can be well-guaranteed simultaneously.

Although electric car conforms to the norm like UK Automated and Electric Vehicles Bill , the infrastructures is still not mature enough, which means the hybrid vehicle is more appropriate for overcoming the present challenge.

Comparing with full-electric car, the hybrid vehicle not only improves the environmental issue at present, but also has relatively low negative effects on the stakeholders and structure of modern society. Development of hybrid vehicle obviously is the more reliable option to replace the traffic restriction.


35 thoughts on “Traffic Restriction, The BEST Or The WORST?

  1. Restricting car use, or where cars can drive, or who can drive them, or charging people to use their own possession runs up against utilitarianism. Since a large number of people have cars.

    However, even more people have lungs and everyone wants the highest possible standards of health, so the argument for restricting traffic is sound under the terms of utilitarianism, since everyone benefits from policies that have at their heart cleaner air.
    The policies are also justified by virtue ethics and duty ethics as well aren’t they?

    I got a little lost with the article, it set off talking about traffic policies but ended up talking about electric cars. What are your thoughts regarding London’s Congestion Charge?

    1. Firstly, thanks for your comment. And, yes Patrick, we do think the policy about traffic restriction is reasonable for now. It has been used for alleviating environmental problem. Yet the primary reason for the air pollution may not be the increase of vehicles on road, but the increasing number of cars due to the growth number of people. In other words, both number of cars and the engine displacement in many cities still sharply increased, but the total number in those cities is too small to apply the policy. Therefore, for the global environmental issue, the traffic restriction policy is just a palliative, which would not solve the issue fundamentally.

      Electric cars can be an alternative option, which could overcome the situation without influencing the regular activities.

      London’s Congestion Charge is primarily designed for easing the traffic congestion rather than solving the environmental issue, since the all vehicles is produced under European emission standard and it is enough for improving the environmental situation. On the other hand, the congestion charge would not affect the total emissions from the cars in a London suburb, unless the boundary of the area of congestion charge is extended to the whole city someday.

  2. Well-organized and logical article. This topic is kind of a ‘traditional’ issue within the whole world. From my point of view, I think traffic restriction is an efficient way to reduce the smog and result in a better environment in the city, especially in developing countries. I am from Beijing, which is a city that implement the traffic restriction. Every car is banned to drive for one day each week, which is fair enough for me, since one day restriction will not affect me a lot but can survive the lots of people’s lungs.

    However, every people has their right to use their own cars at any time they want to. Therefore, the politics to support the use of hybrid cars and clean energy cars become significant.

    1. Yes, I do agree with your point about the practicability of traffic restriction. Yet it is just a palliative. We shall face same environmental situation in decades. The electric cars we proposed is an alternative option, which can solve the issue fundamentally without affecting any regular activities in life.

  3. Nice article firstly, personally I think ‘traffic restriction’ is a good decision to distribute modern traffic pressure, human always urge for a perfect solution to solve some social problems, but this kind of solution is too idealistic. electric car can be a good way to solve it but further development is still needed.

  4. Definitely electric car can solve most problems from air pollution, but compared with policies like traffic restriction, I don’t think electric car has any effect to solve urban congestion problem, every one need cleaner air but convenient travel is also need to be considered, in my opinion, congestion should be considered prior to air pollution.

    1. Sure, the impact of traffic congestion has much greater influence for most of us comparing with the environmental problem, but it would be a serious issue in decades if we do not start to control it from now. Haha, anyway, just personal opinion.

  5. I think it is really depends on the fundamental realities of the country, in most of developing country, government always prefer to guarantee commercial benefit before they start to consider public health, but in developed country like UK and US, government will seek for a balance between public health and commercial development because they don’t need a rapid commercial expansion to develop their capital construction, people in different society will give different answer to problems discussed in article.

  6. I am inclined to agree with the viewpoint from huaweip20, it shouldn’t be a ‘standard answer’ for every country around the world, to maximum the public satisfaction, developing country will focus on the development of their heavy industry although it will sacrifice environment. Increasing number of cars will not influence people’s satisfaction before it reach the critical point which will leads to problems like congestion and air pollution. but in countries with high vehicle holdings, everything will be different and engineering ethic problem will be highlighted.

  7. Good article to read, in my view, electric car has a really critical safety problem, it is too quiet to let people notice it when it is locates at passenger or driver’s blind spots, which means a potential risk on road, so electric cars also need to face engineering ethic problem when it take part in road transportation. do you think government or electric car manufacturer need to make some actions for it?

  8. Great article, very easy to understand and follow, despite some grammatical errors. All the hyperlinks work, which is a great sign. As someone who is very conscious about the environment and likes to read up on what we can do to save us from ourselves, I would have liked a little paragraph about why air pollution is bad for people (though the answer may be obvious, it would be nice to have some explanation). However, I understand that it may not be as relevant to the topic at hand, and as such am not too fussed by it.

    Great job, and hope to read more from this group (if possible).

  9. A well written and easy to follow through article based on traditional point of view as in cars produce air pollution, hence traffic restiction would mean less car thus lead to drop in air pollution. The article then went on to discuss the effect it may have on Oil and Gas industry and government policies.

    I personally believe that fighting against air pollution is not easy. It will need a joint effort from all involved party; the goverment, major industries (Automotive and Oil and Gas) and the people itself. And I believe that this effort is shown by the traffic restiction done even though it measly reduced the current pollution rate. Only thing matters is the environmental awareness that may develop from this and it may be a stepping-stone to something bigger in the future.

    Good job from the group and wish you guys the best of luck.

  10. Electric cars is the future. Although Tesla have tried their best to sell it at a low price, it is still not affordable. Lets hope there would be another electric car maker entering the market soon so the competition will reduce the price. Government or the manufacturer should install enough charging station across the country. Nobody would want to be stranded without power especially in the countryside!
    Just like cars, i agree that public transport should go full-electric. Setting up car-free perimeter in huge cities would also help. But first we need to ensure that the public transportation is efficient enough to handle this. Another suggestion is to plant trees near the road or expressway. This will reduce the carbon dioxide released from vehicles.
    Or maybe just use the time stone to go back to when pollution is not a problem?

  11. First of all, great article. Just like any other industry, means of transport has evolved with time. From the days of horse riding, to the invention of the wheel and finally air travel, our species has come a long way. However, there comes a cost to this advancement. In the past century alone we have seen a massive spike in every kind of pollution you can think of. We continue to deplete our mother Earth of her precious resources and continue to poison her every core. It is difficult to see whether this pollution can be reduced, let alone be stopped.

    I do believe that technology will continue to advance at an Incredible rate. But the real question is which direction will technology be heading? Will people care to travel ‘green’ in comparison to travel faster? Can people actually plan towards something so far into the future as compared to the convenience of the present? Unless the next big invention makes travel faster, cheaper, more convenient and all together environment-friendly, it is hard to see people opting for the environment.

  12. Always wondered on how to reduce air pollution that cause by traffic other than make use of public transport. This article gives me a different view about this matter. Thank you for your sharing!

  13. Very informational and well written article overall! Strongly agree with introducing “Full-Electric” as well as “Hybrid” vehicles as this shows means of heading in the right direction in tackling issues regarding Traffic Restrictions.

    Well done you guys! – O7even

  14. Reducing number of vehicles on road is the main key that can overcome both problems;air pollution & congestion.Traffic restrictions policies indeed an efficient initiative to control environmental problem.However,everybody has the right to use their own car to go wherever & whenever they want.Usage of electric car definitely can reduce air pollution but it does not help in improving congestion.Plus,further development in this industry is needed since it is still new in the market.It will be good if we can handle these two problems (air pollution & congestion)at the same time as they are affecting quality of life.Maybe electrical public transport would be a better way 😉

  15. This is a great article! It provides a lot of insights on the development and cause and effects of different kinds of pollutions around the world.

  16. Congratulations. A well organised article witj clear and precise information to be understood. To be frank, yes it might be possible to come out with Act but it also might involve so many complicated procedures. So im not really sure about this idea.

    Then, it is such a great idea to produce the electric vehicles we know nowadays environment is in critical condition with the polluted air. An electric car is a great way for us, as a consumer, to save a lot of money on gas. And this kind of vehicles might really halpful in reducing the air pollution. Electric cars are 100 percent eco-friendly as they run on electrically powered engines. It does not emit toxic gases or smoke in the environment as it runs on clean energy source. They are even better than hybrid cars as hybrids running on gas produce emissions. You’ll be contributing to a healthy and green climate. Good job with the idea and I really hope one day this world will be very healthy with fresh air.
    But i wonder of something. I don’t think it i suitable for cities facing shortage of power. As electric cars need power to charge up, cities already facing acute power shortage are not suitable for electric cars. The consumption of more power would hamper their daily power needs. Maybe you need to make sure the electric power is more than enough to be used .

  17. Well written and informed article. I strongly agree with the idea but I doubt it will happen anytime soon. Although this article proves that switching to electric and hybrid vehicles produce positive outcomes, it is still difficult to tell if the positives in fact outweigh the negatives in my opinion. Also, I’m pretty sure some industries and manufacturers will frown upon the costs required to change. Only way to find out is to go forth with such a plan and learn from it. Nonetheless, great job on the article.

    “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”- Warren Buffett

  18. Traffic restrictions in Pakistan may have intended to help against pollution, but it severely disregards the REAL problem; Pakistanis have no other way to commute. This is further explained in a scholarly journal by Muhammad Imran in Massey University, New Zealand titled “Public Transport in Pakistan; A Critical Overview”. Ever since they headed their own government, Pakistan has had national budgeting which favoured roadworks rather than railways. Even their usual public transports are diesel-powered buses or mini buses called wagons, both usually provided by private businesses, not by the government. This further infests their traffic and pollute their cities. But the city does not provide electric trains or trams either, leaving the residents with no ways of commuting with the traffic restrictions limiting the use of their cars.

  19. Excellent article. From my knowledge, the air pollution problem is not mainly from vehicles, but from industries. So the traffic restriction is not a useful way. Please correct me if I am wrong. So I will always against traffic restriction. Anyway, the use of electric cars can be a possible way to protect the environment. The use of electric cars can reduce the use of fuels, it can indirectly reduce the air pollution. In general, I agree with the conclusion that you made.

  20. Thanks for sharing your article. I do agree with the point that the air pollution is the most serious issue in the world. However, I don’t think simply cutting the number of cars can solve the issue of air pollution. The government should know which type of cars should be replaced. Also, more strategies should be introduced to support the traffic restriction strategy to make it practicable. For example, the government should set high standard for vehicle emission, the cars which are unqualified will be replaced. Also, the government should introduce more public transportation when cutting the number of private cars. Furthermore, the government should politically support the development of electric cars and offer preferential treatment to people to encourage them to buy electric cars. The aim of all these strategies is to decrease the carbon emission per capita.

  21. An extensive summary work for improving air quality from the aspect of vehicles usage. There is no doubt that reducing the consumption of fossil fuel and using renewable and green energy resource can help to decrease the pressure on air pollution, especially around mega-cities. However, I do think that the main force for making that shift should come from government by propagating polices which could let people see and actually gain benefits from that.

  22. Great article! traffic restriction is a really good way to enhance the transportation management and is also good for reducing the air pollution for the local environment. With the increasing amount of mobile population, it is definitely the most effective way to limit the overwelming vehicle output and improve the local peoples’ life qualities.

  23. Very clear article. Whether out of environmental pollution or traffic control, traffic restriction which is indeed reduce a certain range of pollution and bring many convenience to people. However, governments limit the number of vehicles entering the market at the beginning, many people have already buy for the tax. Now, everyone need to follow the traffic restriction. This is really a controversial problem. As a whole, traffic restriction do more good than harm.

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