The “International Car Free Day” was first born in France on September 22 in 1998, when people from 35 French cities voluntarily rejected using private cars that day. On the same day one year later, 66 French cities and 92 Italian cities participated in the “Car Free Day” activities. Then in 2000, “Car Free Day” was included in the framework of the EU’s environmental policy. And September 22 has became “European Car Free Day” as well as “International Car Free Day”. There are about 1488 cities in the world joining in this activity.
Entering into the 21st century, more and more ordinary Chinese consumers are starting to own private cars. But at the same time, the traffic congestion, air pollution and other problems brought by private cars begin to greatly affect people’s daily life. Statistic shows that at the beginning of the 21st century, the exhaust gases emitted from automobiles accounted for 30% to 60% of the total air pollution. With the increase of private cars, the pollution caused by exhaust gases will become more and more serious. And the city residents in every country will become the direct victims of the exhaust gases from automobiles.
Car has been called the “city killer”. In addition to traffic accidents, it brings a lot of pollution to the air. There are a lot of harmful gases exhausted from car, such as carbon monoxide, oxynitride, aldehyde, and so on. The problem of traffic pollution is very serious in China, and the traffic congestion is damaging the heart of the cities in China. A well-known economist estimates: the annul loss brought by traffic jam in Beijing is about 6 billion Yuan, with an average of 1.1 Yuan for each person every day, and 400 Yuan for a year.
The promotion of “car-free day” is to call on people to choose bus, bike or walking when they go out. Above all, it is a way of life that people reflect on themselves. People always buy cars for more convenience and higher speed. However, more private cars mean more traffic congestion in the road. So people lose efficiency and speed on the contrary.
The aim of “World Car Free Day” is not to exclude all the cars, but to arouse people’s attention to environmental issues. On the day of September 22, let us go back to the freedom of walking, and enjoy the happiness of quiet life.