Recently, it is proposed that the price of cars and petrol be increased to combat the growing traffic and pollution problems. While I think this proposal may be helpful to a certain extent, it is far from the best solution.
Undoubtedly, the increased price of cars and petrol will discourage people from owning and using their own cars, which will surely contribute to the solution of traffic congestion and make big cities cleaner. Our modern lifestyle has made cars indispensable, but in many cases we can use public transport services such as buses and metro, or even ride bicycles, rather than driving our own cars. So if driving our own cars were made a great deal more expensive than using the public transport, many of us would very probably give up driving and opt for the more economical means. As a result, the road conditions and air quality in cities will be improved.
However, increasing the price of cars and petrol may cause unexpected problems. For one thing, it is not fair to those who depend their life on driving cars. Taxi drivers, for instance, may fall victim to this policy because the cost of their operation will go up and they can make less money out of this business. For another, as the higher price of cars and petrol prevents people with average income from driving their cars, it can do nothing to those really wealthy. Then we will face an awkward situation where the rich people enjoy the luxury of cars while most others have to suffer in the crowded public transport.
Therefore, to deal with the traffic and pollution problems, increasing the price of cars and petrol is not enough. The best thing for the government to do is perhaps make more investments on the construction of new roads, and introduce stricter traffic laws, rules and regulations. Meanwhile, if new environmentally friendly energy such as solar energy were developed and widely used, the pollution problem would also be effectively lessened.