Paris recently set a record by imposing the most severe restrictions in the city’s history when it comes to the vehicles allowed on its roads. To be exact, over half of the registered vehicles in the area have now been banned. Pollution is at a dangerous level and a record-setting heat wave has only made the issue worse, leading Paris officials to make the landmark decision.
The ban specifically applies to older cars and those which are much less efficient, rather than the more modern vehicles. The ban is expected to last as long as the heatwave necessitates the move. So, Parisians with older vehicles aren’t necessarily banned for life, just until cooler weather moves in.
While the ban was a bold move on the part of the Paris government, it wasn’t as bold as the reaction from many of the drivers in the area. Many owners simply chose to ignore the restrictions. When asked, the drivers said that the relatively low fines ($77 USD for cars and $151 USD for vans) were worth avoiding the inconvenience of giving up their vehicles.
The heatwave that slammed Western Europe in late June also caused the French government to apply more restrictions pertaining to water use, too.
As for the permitted vehicles, the guidelines are pretty specific. Only hydrogen and electric vehicles, as well as those gas-powered cars registered after 2006, were allowed on the roads. If you drive a diesel vehicle, it must be registered in 2011 or later.
So, how will authorities know which vehicles are applicable to the ban when they’re driving on the road? Well, Paris has a program called “Crit’Air,” which uses a system of colored stickers to indicate the age and pollution level of cars.
As it turns out, Paris has some more drastic measures in place for reducing pollution levels on the city’s roads. Starting this month, diesel-powered cars registered from 2001 to 2005 are permanently banned from the roads, as well as diesel trucks registered from 2006 to 2009.
All of these moves are in an effort to have the entire city using only hydrogen or electric vehicles by 2030.