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Paris to ban older-model cars to fight pollution

Staff writer |
Paris doesn’t want dirty old cars polluting its streets anymore. Starting July 1, the city will ban cars registered before 1997 from entering the city center on weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.

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The tough ban on heavy-polluting cars, which were made before current emissions requirements were adopted, will get even tougher: In 2020, pre-1997 cars will be banned from the city entirely, and the weekday restrictions will be applied to cars made before 2011.

All cars will need windshield stickers showing the vehicle’s age, and violators face a fine of up to 35 euros (about $35). That fine will more than double, to 78 euros, starting in 2017.

Traffic congestion has led to a sharp increase in smog and pollution in Paris in recent years, and the World Health Organization blames air pollution for about 42,000 deaths annually in France.

A 2014 French government report found older cars, especially diesel vehicles, are the worst polluters, and recommended restricting their traffic to reduce pollution.

This isn’t the first time Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo has cracked down on cars. Last year, trucks and buses were banned from the city center; traffic was recently banned on the famed Champs-Élysées on the first Sunday of every month; and last year Paris held a citywide “day without cars.”

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