Paris authorities instituted a 24 hour emergency ban this past Monday that prohibited cars bearing even-numbered plates from driving within city limits.
This latest effort to curb the choking smog came after the French capital reached an alarming score of 125 on the Plume Labs air quality index the previous Wednesday. The Plume Labs measure considers scores over 100 “harmful,” and the air quality status becomes “critical” when the number hits 150.
NPR’s Eleanor Beardsley reported on the impetus behind the ban, saying, “The French capital briefly dethroned [New] Delhi and Beijing as the world’s most polluted city.”
Those hapless Parisians with even-numbered plates could take advantage of free public transportation on Monday, but the prohibition’s rigid enforcement still angered some.
“In addition to banning cars with even-numbered plates, Paris ordered drivers to adhere to a speed limit of just over 12 mph,” writes Kim Willsher of the LA Times. “About 750 police officers were posted on busy intersections to ensure that drivers stuck to the rules — and issue on-the-spot, $30 fines for those who didn't.”
Some argue that incentivizing cleaner practices would be more effective. The Associated Press interviewed Parisians who called out for eco-friendly solutions from car manufacturers that might have a longer-lasting effect than the one-day ban.
Do you think the ban is the best way to approach high smog levels? Comment below or tweet @MNetBridget.