A new government regulation introduced Thursday looks to fight emissions from motor vehicles in cities. The regulation drafted by the Transportation Ministry introduces the designation of "low-emission zones" in cities for areas with high traffic and air pollution rates. Motor vehicles will have limited access to the zones based on traffic levels. Municipalities will be tasked with determining those zones. Additional measures to entirely ban vehicles from low-emission zones or charging them fees may also be considered if the need arises, according to the regulation. It also gives officials the authority to redefine working hours to alleviate rush hour traffic and for the purpose of saving energy and time for the public.
The regulation, called "Increasing Energy Efficiency in Transportation," also stipulates a number of other measures like monitoring fuel spending, incentives for environmentally friendly vehicles, inspecting and fixing infrastructure contributing to high fuel spending and hazards to driving safety.
Other energy efficient solutions planned include the implementation of flexible working hours and environmentally friendly alternative energy resources for lighting and air conditioning in airports, ports, train stations and bus terminals.
Under the planned measures for energy efficiency, municipalities will be tasked with building infrastructure for electric vehicles, like a network of charging stations. They will also be required to build parking lots in the immediate vicinity of cities' entrances to decrease the number of vehicles going downtown, and the parking lots will charge less for motorists, unlike their downtown counterparts. The regulation also gives authority to the government or municipalities to designate downtown areas with high pedestrian traffic as areas closed to vehicle traffic. Commercial vehicles like trucks will be banned from entering downtown areas. Last year, Turkey introduced steep fines for owners of motor vehicles who do not measure the exhaust gas emission of their vehicles.