Page last updated at 13:49 GMT, Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Germans tighten car exhaust rules

German particle emissions disk
The stickers are valid for any of the new environmental zones

Three German cities - Berlin, Cologne and Hanover - have introduced "environmental zones" to reduce fine particle emissions from traffic.

Drivers now have to display a coloured sticker on their vehicle to enter the inner city zones. The colour depends on the pollutants the vehicle emits.

The cities are gradually phasing in fines of 40 euros (29;$58) for anyone caught driving without a sticker.

Other German cities - but not all - plan to have such zones later in 2008.

The stickers - green, red or yellow - are mandatory not only for locals but also for foreign drivers, including tourists.

There is a one-off charge of five to 10 euros for the stickers, issued by Germany's vehicle registration authority and authorised garages.

Some hotel and restaurant owners have voiced fears that tourists will be put off by the requirement for stickers, reports in Germany say.

The German motoring club, the ADAC, plans to take legal action against the restrictions, the DPA news agency reports.

The EU has set the limit for fine particle pollutants at 50 micrograms per cubic metre of air, which cannot be exceeded on more than 35 days per year.

The Berlin environmental zone covers about 88sq km (34sq miles), while the one in Cologne covers about 16sq km.

Officials say the majority of cars in the affected cities qualify for the stickers.

German ire at EU fine on car CO2
19 Dec 07 |  Business
German cars 'least green in EU'
15 Nov 07 |  Europe
Carmakers laud emission reductions
14 Oct 07 |  Business

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific