Apr 14, 2015 | miway |
EVALUATING MOTOR CAR DEPENDENCE : IN SEARCH OF A DEFINITION In summarising what has been discussed so far, it is clear that understanding the success of the South African automobile system is a complex task. The MIDP has been proposed as a tool with great strategic and marketing value. It has a played a significant role in the development of this industry and is responsible for much of its continued success. One of the reasons that this policy has been so successful is that it was designed out of a need to accommodate social and political factors that ordinarily are not accounted for. The fact that the MIDP had to account for a wider panoply of social and political factors has lent a certain adaptability to this programme and has resulted in its continued success. Secondly, both the implementation of effective transport measures, as well as that of alternate propulsion technology should be viewed as long terms goals for South Africa. In the case of public transport, valuable resources are invested in areas that are considered basic and fundamental to survival. Negative perceptions of public transport use, in conjunction with the increasing availability of private motor cars, have also delayed progress in this area. As a result, we are dependent on motor vehicles. This section aims to further explore the concept of motor car dependence and its various implications. Automobile dependency can be defined in many ways. In keeping with the basic assumptions of this paper, automobile dependency is defined in terms of its most obvious manifestations - that is, High levels of per capita automobile travel, orientated land use patterns and reduced transport alternatives (Litmann & Laube, 2002, p.1). Such a definition conjures up images of increased expenses, polluted skies and honking horns. It creates a sense of desperation. The term automobile dependence itself carries many negative connotations. The focus of automobile dependence as a construct has been primarily orientated around the negative risks and consequences that are commonly associated with driving a motor vehicle. These risks include increased consumer costs and resource consumption, as well as significant requirements for land resources in terms of roads and parking facilities. There are also peripheral concerns generated from the notion of automobile dependency. For example, greater traffic congestion is associated with a greater demand for expansion in terms of roads and parking facilities; not to mention an increased risk of motor vehicle accidents. The term itself is largely associated with a predicament that exists within most of the cities in developed countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and to a lesser extent some of the smaller cities in Europe. Importantly, these countries are viewed as first world or developed countries. One of the common assumptions regarding automobile dependency is that if consumers are wealthier, automobile dependency will increase. However, if one is to carefully scrutinise this concept, they will find that this is not necessarily true. This is because many wealthier regions are actually characterised by more developed and comprehensive forms of transport and the accompanying infrastructures that support these developments. Thus, less stable regions with lower GDPs are generally characterised by a higher level of motor vehicle dependence because they do not possess an infrastructure that supports public transport development. They also do not have the resources that are required to develop this type of infrastructure (Litmann & Laube, 2002). It is clear that automobile dependency has implications for both the consumer and the economy. Etiologically speaking, the term automobile dependency suggests an absence of choice. Interestingly, such an absence of freedom and/or lack of alternatives shares parallels with many frameworks used to define addictions. However, where automobile dependency is concerned, the object of dependence is actually a certain lifestyle. To illustrate, in addictions or substance dependence, the more an individual uses a certain substance, the less of the desired affect he or she is able to derive from the behaviour. Through habituation and/or constant exposure to the addiction of choice, the state originally perceived as desirable and pleasurable is now viewed as normative. Thus either greater quantities of the substance are needed and/or more potent substances are required to achieve the originally desired state of pleasure. This may appear to be a fairly extreme example, but if you want to understand what automobile dependency is, all you really need to do is simply consider foregoing driving for a few weeks. What would the implications be on your lifestyle? How would not being able to drive to work every day affect your daily routine? For those readers who have children, how would you manage to get your children to and from school every day? Even the thought of ones personal independence being compromised in terms of physical movement is enough to provoke anxiety. These questions lead us to the next important consideration. Besides some of the more obvious benefits associated with driving a motor vehicle, such as increasing mobility and convenience to motorists, many of the positive benefits of driving an auto mobile have been overlooked. Understanding these benefits is important because it influences what aspects a product industry will focus on when marketing a product.
https://www.miway.co.za/blog/useful-info/a-commentary-on-south-africa-s-dependence-on-the-motor-car-industry| Motor vehicle dependency can be linked to factors including a lack of public transport and individual lifestyle choices. In this document, we assess vehicle dependency, its definition and effects on consumers, insurance providers and the economy.
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