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French city to fine drivers who leave engines running

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AFP/The Local France - [email protected]
French city to fine drivers who leave engines running
(Photo: Philippe Merle / AFP)

In an effort to cut air pollution, one French local authority has announced that it will begin levying fines on drivers who leave their engines running while parked.


In an effort to reduce traffic pollution, Nancy, in the Meuthe-et-Moselle département of eastern France, has issued a decree stating that private motorists who keep their vehicle’s engines running while they are parked may be liable for a €135 fine.


"Too often, the engines of vehicles parked or out of traffic are left running for long minutes, unnecessarily releasing gases and particles, while the air quality in the city is strongly impacted by car and road traffic,” the mairie said in a statement.

Nancy’s pollution busting decree strengthens an established but often-ignored law.


France’s Highway Code points to a 1963 decree from the Ministre des Travaux Publics et des Transports, that states: “Motor vehicles must not emit smoke, toxic, corrosive or odorous gases, under conditions likely to inconvenience the public or compromise public health and safety.”

The penalty - enforceable anywhere in France - is a fine of €135, which may be reduced or increased depending on the time it takes any offender to pay-up.

The city’s deputy mayor Bertrand Masson, told Franceinfo that fines would not be implemented immediately: "The objective is not to penalise but to remind everyone of their individual responsibility,” he said.

“We are in a period of education. It is first of all to make people aware of the problem, not to penalise them.”

According to the National Agency for Health Security, air pollution is responsible for more than 400,000 premature deaths in Europe each year, including 48,000 in France.

This measure does not apply to emergency vehicles, public service agents performing urgent duties, or refrigerated trucks transporting foodstuffs. 

The French government came in for criticism earlier in the summer when a video was released online showing cars waiting to pick up ministers after a meeting at the Elysée - all with their engines running while parked.


The images were particularly embarrassing for the government as it had just launched a strategy to cut energy use.



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Anonymous 2022/08/20 12:34
Does this apply to electric vehicles too?

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