In Australia, more than 80 percent of all expeditions are made via automobile. Whether making a long road trip while on vacation or venturing to the corner grocery, folks most generally make the trip behind the wheel.
A global movement has arisen to get people out from behind the wheel, and on their feet, bicycles or city buses instead. Aside from improving public health by encouraging folks to get out and exercise, this move would serve to clear the air of automotive exhaust pollution and save on gas and fuel costs. These choices, by and large, are better for our health and our budgets. So what’s standing in the way?
If someone had a single traumatic experience while biking or walking—a fall, for example—then this may colour our lifelong perspective of those forms of transport. We’re habitually connected to motor travel and may put out of our minds the marked inconvenience of traffic, road rage, etc. And we often see a quick drive as the easy solution to making our daily appointments on time, without considering the long-term environmental effects of car exhaust pollution.
In order to protect and support the environment, each of us must assume the responsibility of changing our travel behaviours, and of encouraging others to do the same. Furthermore, businesses and governments at all levels must provide both information and incentives to bring people out from behind the wheel—and out into the world that they hope to save.