According to officials, Paris has banned more than 60 percent of the cars registered in the region from its roads as a record heatwave worsens air pollution. This is also known to be the most drastic restrictions ever imposed.
On Wednesday, ban on older and less efficient cars was imposed and is due to stay in place within the A86 second ring-road - which incorporates Paris and 79 towns around it - as long as the scorching weather lasts.
The data firm AAA Data said that nearly five million vehicles listed in the Ile-de-France area around Paris were covered, about 60 percent of total, a record number to be restricted. The city was not instantly available to comment on those approximations.
Several drivers said they were ignoring the restrictions as the fines for breaking them - just 68 euros ($77) for cars and 135 euros for vans – which were quite low. As rows of western Europe remained in the grip of intense heatwave condition, French authorities also stepped up restrictions on water use on Thursday.
Paris' driving ban was forced under the new "Crit'Air" colored stickers system, which categorizes cars by age and pollution levels. The cars allowed on the road were - only electric or hydrogen vehicles, petrol cars registered after Jan - 2006 and diesel cars registered from Jan. 2011 - conforming to Crit'Air levels 1 and 2 out of 5.
Paris is set to constrict regulations further from July 1, when cars with level 4 stickers - cars with diesel engines registered between 2001 and 2005 and trucks from 2006 to 2009 - will be banned eternally within the A86 ring-road area.
The city council plans to continually tighten regulations until 2030, when only electric or hydrogen-fueled cars will be allowed on Greater Paris roads.
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