dimanche 16 mars 2014

Driving restrictions in Paris to curb air pollution

Air pollution in Paris and its surrounding areas has reached an unusually high level this weekend and is expected to worsen. The air quality is so bad that people can hardly see the Eiffel Tower from a distance.

In an attempt to curb air pollution in Paris, the French government has introduced a law by which drivers would have to alternate the days they could use their vehicles based on license plate numbers. Starting from Monday at  at 05:30 am, only drivers with number plates terminating in an uneven digit to take to the roads. Motorcycles are also affected by the ban.
Since Friday, public transport was made free of charge for three days in an attempt to encourage people to leave their cars at home. This measure will continue on Monday until the end of the driving restrictions.

The recent high concentration of particulate matter in the Parisian air was blamed on the near absence of wind in the region and shortage of rain.
Following a peak in air pollution in December 2013, the Paris police prefecture lowered the speed limit for automobiles to 20 km/h in some areas and banned trucks weighing more than 3.5 tonnes from entering the city.

This will be the second time since 1997 that such a restriction has been enforced. The French government made the decision after air pollution exceeded safe levels for five days running in Paris and surrounding areas.

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