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Georgians to be left without wheels2011-08-24 20:40
Georgian authorities are determined to struggle with scrap metal on the roads. Since there is no way to get rid of old cars as it is done in the rest of the world countries - through improving life conditions, the government picked the administrative way. Georgian officers are going to ban the old cars traffic, the import of second-hand foreign cars and driving public transport for people over 65. All these factors may lead to a social outburst.
A relevant draft law will be submitted to the Georgian parliament in autumn. Presently, it is hard to foresee all the consequences of such step.
If you come out into a Georgian high-road at any time you will see a traffic stream of cars produced in Russia, old foreign cars, Ford microbuses and other second-hand cars. And if you get in the backcountry you will discover that half of the drivers use old Zhiguli and rattling foreign cars... Or else, they drive half-broken PAZs.
One can definitely say that half of Georgia drives scrap metal because there is no other way: the country has no money to renew the car fleet.
All these people may be deprived of their right to use their cars this autumn. The draft law to be considered by the parliament bans the import of cars older than twenty years and restricts the use of cars of the same age. The driver's age will also be important now: you are not allowed to drive public transport as soon as you are 65.
Georgian government's good intentions are obvious. The lumber moving along the Georgian roads poses a threat to the people's life and safety and the drivers who take responsibility for their passengers despite poor eyesight and reaction must number several thousands.
Finally, the picture doesn't look nice in general. Rusty-bottomed cars with tinted glasses and no bumpers seriously mar the appearance of the Georgian towns and as we know, the look of public territories is a subject of the local authorities' worry.
However, authors of the draft law did not take social consequences into account. Georgian car market offers various new expensive cars at a moderate price. Still, the majority of people cannot afford them, not to mention those living in province. In most depressive regions, shabby PAZs still run along the roads like they did thirty years ago. If the idea of banning old cars is brought to life, the country will literally become immobile.