Paris to ban all vehicles pre-1997, here's why
Thursday, June 2, 2016, 2:20 PM - From outlawing diesel in trucks and larger vehicles, to offering free public transit, Paris, France has tried almost everything to combat its horrific smog problem.
As of July 1, all vehicles registered before 1997 and motorcycles made before 2000 will be banned from streets during weekdays in the city's latest attempt to cut down on air pollution.
The move is part of a much larger plan to make Paris a diesel-free city by 2020.
“The fine particles [from diesel fumes are responsible for around 42,000 deaths a year in France], emitted mostly by public buses and coaches, are a major health concern,” Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo told French newspaper Le Monde last year. “It is true that older diesel vehicles are more polluting than modern ones. But the filters in even the latest models can’t get rid of the most dangerous fine particles.”
Officials will track the status of cars by using colour-coded chips, which will organize them into six categories based on model year and environmental ranking. Electric and hydrogen vehicles will be identified as "first class," according to Le Monde.
Eventually, the aim is to ensure no car over 10 years old will drive on the city's streets.
While pre-1997 cars only account for around 10 per cent of all vehicles in Paris, they generate as much as half of all the city's emissions, Gizmodo reports.
Similar to a ban in Mexico City, some residents in Paris are outraged as the ban will hit those who can't afford more modern vehicles. The smog-busting restrictions announced by mayor Hidalgo last year set off an angry backlash from bikers. Hundreds of motorcyclists rode through the streets in protest.
Air pollution leads to about 600,000 premature deaths each year in Europe, with Paris being one of the most heavily polluted cities in Europe, according to World Health Organization.
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