France curbs Paris car drivers to combat dangerous smog
Published on Mar 16, 2014 8:10 PM
PARIS (REUTERS) - France will introduce driving restrictions in Paris on Monday to tackle dangerous pollution levels, the first such ban in 20 years as politicians try to get rid of health-threatening smog days before municipal elections.
Paris is more prone to smog than other European capitals because of France's diesel subsidies and its high number of private car drivers. A week-long spell of unseasonably warm, sunny weather has recently exacerbated the problem.
Under the scheme, drivers may only use their cars on alternate days, according to the odd or even numbers on their licence plates. Free public transport, including cycle and electric car-sharing schemes, was introduced last week as a visible haze hung over Paris streets.
"Our core objective is to ensure public safety because we want to end this pollution," Environment Minister Philippe Martin told a news conference on Sunday, warning that the air quality was likely to worsen on Monday.
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