Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mexico City orders all cars off the road one day a week to tackle pollution

Authorities in Mexico City have temporarily ordered all cars to remain idle one day a week in response to this notoriously smoggy capital’s worst air-quality crisis in over a decade.
A Phase 1 emergency due to high ozone levels – the first since 2005 – was declared two weeks ago, when warm temperatures and still air left pollution trapped in Mexico City’s volcano-ringed valley. Government officials and environmental activists pinned at least some of the blame on a supreme court decision last year that overturned a rule barring all cars over eight years old from the streets one day a week.

The ruling is said to have put an extra 1.4m vehicles back on the roads each day. Starting on 1 July, more modern technology will be put in place at smog-check centres. Vehicles are supposed to get checked every six months, though it’s common knowledge that for a bribe of $20 or so drivers can ensure a car comes out “clean”.
Mexico City is the capital of Mexico and is located in the Valley of Mexico, a large valley in the high plateaus at an altitude of 2,240 metres (7,350 ft). The Greater Mexico City population is 21.2 million people, making it the largest metropolitan area in the western hemisphere.