News / Europe

Paris Forces Cars Off the Roads

  • Police officers control vehicles along the Seine River in Paris, March 17, 2014.
  • An electronic road sign reads "Road traffic forbidden for even-numbered licence plates" on the Paris ring road, March 17, 2014.
  • Two joggers wearing protective masks run past a police officer at Concorde Square in Paris, March 17, 2014.
  • A general view shows the Centre Pompidou modern art museum and water vapour from a smokestack in Paris, March 17, 2014.

Pollution in Paris

VOA News
Paris, in an effort to ease dangerous pollution levels, is allowing only cars with license plates that end in odd numbers on the road Monday.

Vehicles with even license plate numbers are designated to be the only ones on the road Tuesday, if the pollution levels remain high after Monday.

Seven-hundred police have been deployed across Paris and 22 surrounding areas of the French capital to enforce the measure.

Electric and hybrid cars are exempted from the ban, as well as any vehicle carrying three or more people.

Officials said this is the first time the alternate driving day scheme has been enforced since 1997.

City officials announced the move Saturday after air pollution reached unsafe levels.

Public transportation was made free over the weekend to persuade residents to leave their cars at home.

The smoggy conditions have been caused by a combination of cold nights and warm days, preventing the pollution from dispersing.

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