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Paris relies on video surveillance

Controls in the Paris Low Emission Zone are to be automated this year. Drivers who enter the Paris metropolitan area with an unauthorised sticker can then be identified and penalised by camera systems.

Vehicles that do not have a sticker or a category 5 sticker will be barred from the Paris metropolitan area between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. on weekdays from mid-2019.  49 of the 79 Paris municipalities, and thus more than 70% of the population, are affected by the measures. As yet, mostly only warnings have been issued. From June 2021, the grace period will be over and even vehicles with a category 4 sticker will then be strictly banned in the greater metropolitan area of the French capital. In Paris itself, stickers 4 and 5 and, of course, vehicles without a sticker at all are already banned from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and violations are punished with fines of €68.

To make checks easier, video surveillance is to be introduced this year. Similar to speed cameras, vehicles will be identified and tickets issued. Transport Minister Jean-Baptiste Djebbar has his sights set on improving air quality with the tighter controls: "Low emission zones are not a matter of traffic violations, but a matter of public health. Human lives are at stake"

To detect violations, an officer will be needed to review the camera footage. This officer can then issue tickets to the owners of the vehicles in case of violations of the rules of the low emission zone.  Currently, vehicles still have to be checked individually on the road, which is much more time-consuming and costly. Checks are therefore usually only carried out when air quality is poor.

Camera monitoring would therefore make the checks much more efficient. It is also likely that more and more people will obey the rules, or that more money will come into the city's coffers. In Belgium, the controls in the environmental zones are already carried out by cameras. However, here it is not stickers that are checked, but the number plates of the vehicles entering the zone that are checked to see whether the vehicle is allowed to enter.

It would also be conceivable in other European countries to check environmental zones using camera systems. Since cameras for monitoring traffic are already in place anyway, the changeover would be easy if the system in Paris proves successful. Then it would become expensive for owners of old vehicles.

To avoid fines in the Paris area and other cities in France and Europe, use our Green Zones app, which informs you about the rules of the low emission zones.