Drivers in Paris have found themselves pulled over to see whether they comply with a new traffic restriction scheme using colour-coded stickers in an attempt to improve air quality.
The system requires all cars to have a sticker indicating their age and pollution level.
They can be ordered online. The idea is: the less polluting, the more freedom to travel.
On the first day the police have taken a lenient line.
“I didn’t know about this new scheme. So I’ve just discovered it, I know I need to buy a sticker, but in any case I’m allowed to drive today with my car so I’m fine today, but I didn’t know about this,” said one woman who was stopped.
Monday saw vehicles with a “Level 5” sticker banned from Paris roads: those with diesel engines from 1997 to 2000.
It’s hoped the system will be more effective than previous methods.
“Alternate circulation targets even and odd number plates without targeting their polluting capacity. So when we target most polluting vehicles, we have more chances to have a positive impact on pollution,” said Charlotte Songeur, an engineer at “Airparif”.
On the same day the French capital unveiled the first self-driving shuttlebus to take passengers on a regular line between two stations.
All this comes as several areas of France have been affected by high levels of harmful particles emitted from cars which have been blamed for health irritations, especially among Parisians.