All autos ordered off Mexico City streets one day a week in pollution crisis

(PHOTO: The Yucatan Times file photo.)

MEXICO CITY – The poor air quality in Mexico City prompted the government to impose sterner measures in order to combat the worsening condition that led to a pollution emergency — the city’s first since 2005.

The order issued Wednesday March 30 means that all vehicles in the city will now be subjected to temporary driving restrictions starting the first week of April until the end of June. Some modes of public transport, like service vehicles and school buses, as well as hybrid and electric cars, will be given exemptions.

(PHOTO: The Yucatan Times file photo.)
(PHOTO: The Yucatan Times file photo.)

The restriction will impel drivers to keep their vehicles out of the city roads once a week and for one Saturday a month. Prior to the implementation of the new vehicle ban, only those cars that failed to meet a low-emission certification from authorized testing centers were governed by the no-circulation policy.

But, earlier this month, a Phase 1 Emergency was raised by the local officials for the first time in 11 years because of the high concentration of ozone and other air contaminants. Under such an emergency situation, the exception of lower-emission vehicles has been lifted in order to reduce their numbers on the road.

Local residents in Mexico City who purchase their own private cars have been increasing. Apart from the more affordable and flexible payment terms nowadays, the woes of a commuter riding the low-quality public transportation encourage car ownership.

Another culprit in the worsening air conditions is the high-volume emission coming from older vehicles and those that have passed check-up and testing through dubious means like bribery.