Fence needed against the immigration of old cars!

The ministry agrees with Clean Air Action Group’s proposal

The planned implementation of low emission zones – a proven practice of European big cities – may very well be the solution for our country as well to reduce of the number of obsolete vehicles which are not beneficial either from an environmental or a technical point of view – wrote Szilvia Erb, the Head of the Department of the Ministry of National Development (NFM) in a reply to Clean Air Action Group. The NGO welcomes the ministry’s standpoint given that CAAG has been proposing the same for years as a solution for the reduction of the number these kinds of vehicles.

NFM’s reply was given to a letter from Clean Air Action Group to Minister Miklós Seszták asking about the sorts of fences the government wishes to set up against the influx of used diesel vehicles into our country. The average age of vehicles in Hungary has grown continuously, one main reason of which is the mass import of used cars.

CAAG has also inquired about when the exclusion of vehicles that severely pollute the air – emitting far beyond the value in their type-approval certificate – is about to start on Hungary’s roads. It is not only newly imported cars that emit extremely high levels of particulate matter and nitrogen dioxide but also many of the cars that have been here for years.

The use of diesel cars will be significantly hindered in richer EU member countries. Not only will their sales drop but big cities will also announce their ban one after the other. Those who will not be allowed to use even their few years old car will be obliged to get rid of them as soon as possible. These cars will be exported – at dumped prices – to countries that still allow their use. Thus, a fence is needed to be set up at least against the Hungarian import of vehicles that are in a bad condition, consume a lot more and pollute the air a lot more than indicated in their brochures.

The emision of cars with inadequately set, expired, or eliminated particle filter and catalyst deeply aggravates the pollution of our cities and villages. Yet, it would be easy to alleviate the situation by ruling out cars that emit much more pollutants than indicated by their type-approval certificate” – said Márton Vargha, CAAG’s Transportation Theme Leader.

Clean Air Action Group has been trying to draw the government’s attention to the dangers of inaction. They have also made specific suggestions; however, no considerable progress has been made yet. Now, however, since the European Parliament has revealed in a report that cleaner air cannot be achieved without the regular on-road check of cars in traffic, we think that the Hungarian government must take action” – added András Lukács, the President of Clean Air Action Group.

Translated by Lilla Csongrádi