Turn Off Your EnginesChongak street was severely crowded on Saturday afternoon during last Saturday's Labor rally. The traffic jams forced some drivers to use the sideways for roads. Even more deplorable than the traffic was the fact that many cars waited for hours with their engines running.
How much fuel did the cars use? How much pollution was created from this single event? At Kimpo Airport, this situation occurs on a daily basis. Taxis, waiting for their customers, kept their engines running continously. Taxis are a special problem because they emit, on average, more than two times the amount of pollution than the average automobile.
According to research results from an automobile pollution research institute, a large truck emits up to 43 times as much pollution as a normal automobile.
Recently, Sweden has instituted several new laws for motorists. The country now boasts the lowest permissible level of alcohol in the blood (0.2 mg/ml) for any country in the world. Sweden also banned the practice of allowing a car to sit idle more than sixty minutes. Sixty-two percent of Sweden is in favor of the research.
The car density level for Seoul per unit area is 1.7 times greater than in Tokyo and 4.6 times greater than in Singapore. In the spring there are numerous rallies, demonstrations and rampant construction. Accordingly, the level of carbon monoxide and hydracarbon emitted from individual cars was up 19 and 40 percent, respectively from 10 years ago.
Drivers are not currently aware of the amount of pollution that already exists nor to what degree each automobile effects the entire problem. Many drivers, with the proper knowledge and some self-discipline, could help alleviate Korea's worsening environmental woes.
A large campaign is required to educate the people along with a strong police presence to enforce regulations that Korea will create in the future.
by Em Sung-gik