Pollution pushes Paris to ban half of all vehicles except electric and hybrid cars

By VCPOST Staff Reporter

Mar 18, 2014 09:55 AM EDT

As the pollution in Paris climbed to alarming levels, the government has enforced a ban on half of its vehicles on Monday and Tuesday. This is the first car ban enacted since 1997, according to VentureBeat.

After several days without wind, pollution has been trapped in the French capital. The ban is designed to help clear the smog in the air, which was largely caused by the output of diesel-using vehicles. Electric and hybrid cars, however, are not included in the ban. There are also some free underground public transportation rides being offered to assist people inconvenienced by the ban, the report detailed.

The Star cited Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) administrator Nils-Axel Braathen saying of the driving restriction: "It's a short-term measure and one of the few they could take to have an impact in a very quick way. It's definitely not my preferred long-term solution (which is) gradually increasing the tax rate on diesel to make it on par with petrol. We have for years argued that something ought to be done about the tax preference France gives to diesel."

Last week, the pollution level in Paris reached 140 micrograms per cubic meter, based on French and European measurements. This level could already cause lung diseases and breathing discomfort. In addition, the trapped smog could also harm the tourism sector of the French capital, The Star reported.

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