Thursday, April 12, 2012

Limit Vehicles!

Nowadays traffic congestion in big cities in Indonesia cause apprehension, for instance in Jakarta, Bandung, and Surabaya. One of the main problems that cause traffic congestion is the volume of vehicles was not equal with the available roads. The number of vehicles in Bandung in 2011 reaches 1.2 million units and in weekend the roads in Bandung must hold almost 120,000 units more. Whereas in fact length of the roads in Bandung just 1,200 km. Similarly, in Surabaya the number of vehicles reached 3,895,061 units and the number of private transportation is bigger than public transportation. And in the capital city, Jakarta, the number of vehicles reached 11,362,396 units. So to overcome unlimited number of vehicles in big cities, government should limit the ownership of vehicles.

We can see in the streets, there are many people who use their own vehicle but actually the vehicles just contain one person or not more than three persons. With the limitation of vehicles' ownership, people will use public transportation not use private transportation anymore. But it will be very difficult to realize and need a lot of money since public transportation in this country was unsafe and uncomfortable. For example in the bus or train, the passengers feel unsafe resulted from often happened crimes. They are also feeling uncomfortable because the condition of public transportation which dirty, old, damaged, and full over the capacity. Besides that, it will take longer time if we use public transportation than if we use our own vehicles because the public transportation will pass through traffic lane that has determined and will take more time if it stops waiting for passengers. And not all area passed by public transportation. That is why people prefer to use their own vehicles than public transportation so they can go anywhere and anytime they want safely, comfortable, and fast.

    As mentioned before, the huge number of vehicles nowadays causes bad traffic congestion, especially in the morning and afternoon when workers go out and go home. Of course it wastes our time. Moreover, it will take hours and it make many people in the street fed up. As we know, every weekend there are traffic congestion in Bandung because big number of vehicles comes from another city.

    The government has to limit the number of vehicles because the escalation number of vehicles also will make the escalation number of accidents. The accidents that often occur are motorcycle accidents because nowadays the number of motorcycle is huge. A total of  935 victims recorded fatalities resulted from traffic accidents in Jakarta from January to October 2011, and the majority of those involved motorcycles. The primary causes of these accidents were reckless driving by motorcyclists, defective motorcycles and poor law enforcement.

    In other side, level of pollutions in big cities, especially in Jakarta is in serious condition that cause by a lot of vehicles. If you pass by main streets in the business center with trees along the sidewalk, you will find the tree bark along that street seen pitch black colored and the leaves seen not green  anymore. Exhaust fumes from private transportation or public transportation has contributed to color alteration of that trees. Another thing that we can see everyday is the motorcyclists must use mask if they do not want to inhale exhaust fumes. In the morning when we can inhale fresh air, now it is become uncomfortable because we have to inhale filthy air that cause by exhaust fumes. Air pollution from vehicles also decrease air coolness that ought to enjoyed by people.

    To solve the problems that cause by the huge number of vehicles, government has to make regulation to limit the number of vehicles, especially private transportation. The regulation can be in each house permit only have one vehicle because nowadays in one house can be has two or three vehicles that used by each family's member separately. Or government can complicate people who want to have driving license, like in western countries it is very difficult to get driving license so people prefer to use public transportation than their own vehicle. Government also can burdened special tax for people who have more than one vehicle, maybe the tax can revolves around 10-15% of the vehicles' price and they pay annually. So government also can get income to improved mass transportation. People will change from using their own vehicles to using public transportation if the public transport system is accessible, safe, comfortable, and achievable. So government must improve mass transportation as a result people will interested to use mass transportation and the number of private vehicles will decrease significantly. Non government organizations who care to nature also can take part by campaign for the needs of clean air. Maybe they can campaign for “car free day” weekly, the day when people not allowed using vehicles that held one day in a week. At least people can feel clean air one day in a week better than nothing.

    In brief, to minimize the negative effects of the huge number of vehicles, government must make regulations to limit the number of vehicles. Because, if government do nothing,  the problems will be more complex and of course more difficult to solve. It's needed cooperation between government and people to solve these problems so it will be easier. Maybe some years forward if government limiting vehicles and build good mass transportation, people will use public transportation and the problem such as traffic congestion and air pollution will be decreased and the transportation in our country will be like Singapore or Japan.

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