Paris takes drastic measures to fight toxic smog

Last updated 15:07 18/03/2014
paris
Reuters
BANNED: Cars with even-numbered plates were kept off the road on Monday in Paris, in an effort to reduce pollution.

Relevant offers

Paris imposed drastic measures on Monday to combat its worst air pollution in years, banning around half of the city's cars and trucks from its streets for a day in an attempt to reduce the toxic smog that's shrouded the City of Light for more than a week.

Cars with even-numbered license plates were prohibited from driving in Paris and its suburbs. Around 700 police manned 179 control points around the region, handing out tickets to offenders. Taxis and commercial vehicles weren't covered by the ban.

Police had ticketed nearly 4000 people by midday, and 27 drivers had their cars impounded for refusing to cooperate with officers.

France has seen exceptionally warm, dry weather this month with little wind, which has trapped car pollution and fumes from seasonal farming activity in the air. France's unusually high number of diesel vehicles is also contributing to the smog.

Environment Minister Philippe Martin said lower traffic and favourable weather patterns were having an impact on pollution on Monday, and that the alternate-plates measure would be lifted on Tuesday.

It was the first time since 1997 that the measure was taken.

All public transport has been free for four days straight to help deal with the pollution - but that too is set to end Tuesday.

Paris' anti-pollution efforts trail behind those of some other cities.

Athens has had a similar alternate driving ban in place for many years that has reduced pollution and traffic. In Brazil, Sao Paulo employs a complicated license plate-based system that assigns each car a day of the week when it cannot be driven during rush hours.

Berlin has strict rules on what kind of cars can enter the city, and London makes drivers pay a congestion charge to drive in the centre of town.

Ad Feedback

- AP

Special offers
Opinion poll

What will be the main motivation for humanity's future space endeavours?

Quest for alien life

Making money

Human spirit of exploration

To escape an ailing Earth

China vs the rest space race

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Blog
In Our Nature blog

In Our Nature, with Nicola Toki

The cost of losing nature