• France's news in English

Paris cops issue 13,000 fines to fight pollution

Joshua Melvin · 11 Mar 2014, 11:46

Published: 11 Mar 2014 11:46 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Police in Paris have taken it upon theselves to battle against "dangerous" levels of air pollution in the capital by handing out thousands of speeding tickets.

The crackdown was part of a battle by authorities to deal with high levels of air pollution that have been recorded in the capital since the middle of last week. Environmental groups have said the levels of polluting particles in the air are putting people's lives in danger.

Paris's police authority said on Tuesday that because it is "particularly attentive to changes in air quality," it decided to use its legal authority to step up its traffic stops.  As a result, officers carried out over 30,000 vehicle stops since last Wednesday.

On Monday The Local reported that environmental groups in Paris made a formal request to legal authorities to tackle the problem pollution, which is caused by high levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air and can pose a risk to anyone who suffers from asthma or other breathing difficulties.

On Tuesday breathing specialist Dr Gilles Dixsaut, told Le Parisien newspaper the pollution levels inthe French capital costs Parisians "at least six months off their lives". 

Dixsaut said certain people in the capital are more exposed than others.

"It used to be the industrial areas [that provided the greater risk] but now it is the main road interchanges. Those people living near them are most affected by nitrogen dioxide that is produced by diesel vehicles.

"Nothing has been done in France about this."

Ecology without Borders (Écologie sans Frontière), Breath (Respire) and Unity for the Planet (Rassemblement pour la Planète) lodged a legal complaint in Paris, on the grounds that pollution levels are endangering people’s lives.

“We are sick of this air pollution,” Nadir Saifi, spokesman of Ecology with Borders told France Info. "As soon as the weather is good, and as soon as it's dry in winter you have these peaks in pollution and the emergency wards at hospitals fill up. Slogans and small demonstrations are no longer enough.”

The pollution in and around Paris is generally caused by the particles known as PM 10, that are emitted by vehicles as well as by chimneys of houses and factories.

In another official effort intended to curb air pollution, Paris Town Hall announced that residential parking will be free on Tuesday and Wednesday. The idea is apparently to encourage drivers to leave their cars at home and take public transportation. 


Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to clear 'Jungle' migrant camp Monday
Migrants will be bussed from the camp to some 300 temporary accommodation centres around France. Photo: Denis Charlet/ AFP

The "Jungle" migrant camp on France's northern coast will be cleared of its residents on Monday before being demolished, authorities said Friday.

How life for expats in France has changed over the years
A market in Eymet, southwestern France. Photo: AFP

Foreigners in France explain how life has changed over the years.

London calling for Calais youths, but only a chosen few
Photo: AFP

Dozens of Calais minors are still hanging their hopes on help from the UK, but not all will be so lucky.

17 different ways to talk about sex in French
Photo: Helga Weber/Flickr

Fancy a quick run with the one-legged man?

Yikes! This is what a rat-infested French jail looks like
Photo: YouTube/France Bleu TV.

This video is not for sufferers of ratophobia (or musophobia as the condition is officially called).

France to allow Baby Jesus in Town Halls this Christmas
Photo: AFP

Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus are safe to go on display again this year, it seems.

National Front posts locations of migrants in French town
The National Front courts controversy. Photo: AFP

"Local tax payers have a right to know," says local far-right party chief.

Paris thieves use tear gas to steal €500,000 of watches
Photo: AFP

The thieves pretended to be couriers then threatened staff with tear gas to get the watches.

Bataclan survivor recounts attack in chilling drawings
Photo: BFMTV screengrab

One survivor has recounted the horrific night through illustrations.

Anger among French police grows as Hollande vows talks
French police demonstrate on the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

A fourth night of protests shows government efforts to ease anger among French police have been fruitless.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
The ups and downs of being both French and English
How Brexit vote has changed life for expats in France
Twelve French insults we'd love to have in English
What's on in France: Ten of the best events in October
jobs available