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Berlin driving bans put to the test

Berlin wants to know exactly what is driving on its streets and who is polluting them. For this purpose, car registration plates are read and evaluated at various locations for a week. Will new diesel driving bans be introduced?

From 30 October to 7 November, measurements are again being taken in Berlin: to be sure how the environmental protection measures are working, the Senate Department for the Environment, Transport and Climate Protection is setting up cameras on eleven streets. Meanwhile, the video data is collected once a year. The data is used to determine how Berlin's vehicle fleet and its pollutant emissions are developing. For this purpose, the number plates are read without recording the vehicle and driver. It is emphasised that the measures only serve the planning and control of environmental zones and do not have the purpose of removing wrong-way drivers from traffic or imposing a fine for driving into an environmental zone without authorisation. Furthermore, the Senate points out that the automated evaluation of the number plates is carried out in accordance with the EU Basic Data Protection Regulation and the Federal Data Protection Act. However, it would be conceivable in the future that the control of the Low Emission Zone could be facilitated by cameras - as is common practice in other countries.

The measures that Berlin has taken to improve air quality can meanwhile demonstrate success. Since last year, for example, the set limits for nitrogen dioxide have been complied with. The reasons for this are, on the one hand, the modernisation of the bus fleet, but also the environmental zone within the S-Bahn ring ("so called dog's head"), in which all diesel vehicles must comply with at least Euronorm 4 and petrol vehicles with Euronorm 1. In 2019, a diesel driving ban up to and including Euronorm 5 was also introduced on eight stretches of road. In the meantime, the ban has been lifted again on half of these sections, as the air quality has improved to such an extent that driving bans are no longer necessary. Despite the pandemic-related decline in traffic last year, city officials believe that pollution levels will no longer be high enough to require the driving bans to be reintroduced. The four remaining driving bans on the stretches of road will be reviewed again in spring 2022. The data collected now will also serve as an initial assessment.

You will of course always find out which road sections these are and whether new routes will additionally be subject to a diesel driving ban in the Green-Zones app!