Got a car made from 1997 to 2000? Sorry but you are no longer allowed to drive that in Paris.
That’s after the French capital announced a ban on vehicles with a ‘Level 5’ sticker, indicating they were produced from 1997 to 2000. This is their recent attempt to combat air pollution in the city after record-high smog enveloped Paris and other cities in the past two months.
The new law demands all vehicle owners to put a sticker indicating which of six categories it fits into, with information including the year of the vehicle’s registration, its energy efficiency, and its emission quantity.
Less than 2 million cars, or about 6% of France’s total vehicle population of 32 million, are affected by the ban.
Cars registered prior to 1997 and trucks and buses from before 2001 do not belong to any category. In their case, they will not be allowed to drive in the city from Mondays to Fridays between 8am and 8pm.
Locations of the travel ban include all roads inside the A86 motorway, the second ring road around Paris, but excluding the A86 itself. Violators of the law will be fined a minimum of €22.
Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo supports this action and regards the policy as necessary to encourage motorists to “change their transport modes” to reduce motor traffic.
There was resistance from the public through a campaign group called ‘40 million motorists’ (40 millions d’automobilistes), who fought that the policy targets poor drivers who are unable to buy new vehicles.
“This system penalizes poor people who can’t afford to buy a new, cleaner vehicle. It makes life difficult for those who are struggling,” says Daniel Quero, president of the organization.
“If we want to resolve the pollution problem it needs a big overall plan to work on how we can reduce vehicle emissions. Implementing bans and restrictions, without proper propositions, is not the solution,” he adds.
Meanwhile, authorities have suggested that commuters take public transport and consider a “pollution ticket” which costs €3.60 for a whole day of travel anywhere in Paris.
That seems to be a reasonable offer compared to the free public transport offered by the government which cost them €4 million per day. The system didn’t last long.
This isn’t the first time a European city has implemented a similar policy. Berlin had one since 2008.
Source: Independent UK