Paris bans nearly 3 million vehicles during weekdays in effort to crack down on pollution

Paris bans nearly 3 million vehicles during weekdays in effort to crack down on pollution
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Paris is instituting a policy that will prevent nearly 3 million cars from being driven in France’s capital during weekdays.

The move comes as part of a greater effort to crack down on pollution in light of a report that showed Paris has the worst particulate pollution of any European Union capital, The Times of London reported

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Anne Hidalgo, Paris's Socialist mayor, introduced the policy, which is set to ban diesel cars and vans made before Jan. 1, 2006, from the capital between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays. Motorbikes and three-wheeled vehicles produced before June 30, 2004 will also be banned from Paris's roads Monday through Friday. 

Violating those restrictions could reportedly result in a fine of 68 euros ($77) for car owners and 375 euros ($423) for van owners. 

The Times, citing data from AAA Data, reported that 2.7 million vehicles registered in Paris and its surrounding suburbs would be affected by the policy. The figure represents about one-third of the cars registered in the region. 

According to the policy, cars barred from Paris on the weekdays will still be permitted in Paris's surrounding suburbs. But the residents risk fines once they enter the capital. 

“Public health is at stake," Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Grégoire said, The Times noted. "In Paris, the primary source of air pollution is road traffic.”

The French National Institute of Public Health discovered in a study that particulate pollution causes approximately 2,500 premature deaths annually in France's capital. The particulate pollution also causes about another 4,000 premature deaths in Paris's suburbs, The Times noted. 

40 Millions d’Automobilistes, a car-owners’ association, voiced opposition to the policy, saying that it was "profoundly unjust" and that it didn't consider the "economic and social consequences."