Paris Bans All Cars Made Before 1997 in Effort to Curb Pollution


In an effort to curb pollution that some days makes the city as smoggy as Beijing, Paris began on Friday to ban cars within city limits built before 1997. Vehicles registered before then — and motorcycles before 1999 — will now face modest, phased-in fines during weekday traffic between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., though they can drive freely into the city on weekends.

Eventually, the restrictions will grow even tighter: By 2020, the ban will cover cars registered before 2010 (if you’re wondering how cops will identify the scofflaws, vehicles will now use window stickers classifying them by their pollution levels).

The ban is estimated to cover about 10 percent of cars currently registered in Paris, or roughly 30,000 vehicles. And it marks one of the most drastic attempts to restrict cars in a European city. It will likely disproportionately impact lower-income drivers more likely to drive old, cheaper models, as critics have pointed out. And classic car owners have been miffed, too. Car-share companies like Uber, on the other hand, stand to win in the change.

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SOURCE: The Washington Post, Emily Badger