• Germany edition
 
Greater green zones ban more gas guzzlers
Photo: DPA

Greater green zones ban more gas guzzlers

Published: 04 Jan 2013 06:08 GMT+01:00
Updated: 04 Jan 2013 06:08 GMT+01:00

Mönchengladbach in North Rhine-Westphalia, Mainz in Rhineland-Palatinate and Wiesbaden in Hesse are just three of the cities to draw up an environment area, or Umweltzone, a scheme begun in 2008 with the aim of slashing pollution in densely populated areas.

The system requires vehicles to display special red, yellow or green "emissions badges" depending on their environmental performance.

Each of the brand new zones will ban all vehicles without a green badge which signifies the lowest emissions category.

Until now, vehicles with yellow badges had been given a grace period allowing them into green zones in many places, but rules will be tightened this month in a number of communities such as Freiberg, Mannheim and Augsburg - only green classified vehicles will be allowed in.

In Germany's biggest Umweltzone covering the Ruhr valley, only those vehicles without an emissions sticker of any kind were banned - this will be tightened somewhat to include those with red badges. It is one of the few areas where yellow badge holders are still allowed, another being Cologne city centre.

Local authorities all over the country, such as those in Essen, Heidelberg and Munich, have promised stricter oversight of the scheme this year, once road signs have been fully updated to signify the new rules.

Drivers found without the right emissions badge on their vehicles in green zones are subject to a €40 fine and driver's license point penalties.

Despite initial worries that the scheme was not improving urban air quality, experts believe the restrictions have encouraged drivers to switch their cars over to more environmentally friendly models.

"The fleet of vehicles has changed significantly and this process is continuing," Heiko Balsmeyer, an air quality expert from the German Traffic Association told the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper on Thursday.

The Local/jlb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

08:51 January 4, 2013 by baifeilong
It's got nothing to do with 'gas guzzlers'; it is the particulate emissions. Such a stupid scheme because we all know how the particulate emissions from diese trucks, power stations, domestic coal fires etc. all see the signs and stop entering the restricted zones. Probably backd by the motor industry to force citizens to buy new cars... The ADAC has criticised the scheme repeatedly.
14:41 January 4, 2013 by Eric1
When government says its about the environment, they really mean its about the money.
14:45 January 4, 2013 by Wise Up!
And this truly hurts those of lower incomes. Who can afford to modify their vehicles, much less afford a new one?

Banning all cars is coming next.
20:30 January 4, 2013 by ivan rehn
I have a forklift , its a Diesel that runs on propane . Is that a good idea for cars?
02:16 January 6, 2013 by Uncle Sam101
After reading news about Germany and the EU, I come to the conclusion that both are as messed up as the USA. Unfortunate since I am looking for someplace without all the usual nonsense.
04:29 January 7, 2013 by RainerL
Ha! Impracticable! besides" Who is going to enforce and penalize People who won't pull the line?
Today's headlines
Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'
Bundesbank chief Jens Weidmann: Photo: DPA

Bundesbank warns of ECB 'change of course'

The head of Germany's powerful Bundesbank sharply criticised what he called a radical new approach by the European Central Bank of easy money, in an interview published Sunday. READ  

MH17 Crash
Families of German MH17 victims to sue
Australian and Dutch investigators examine a piece of debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 plane. Photo: EPA/DPA/ Igor Kovalenko

Families of German MH17 victims to sue

Relatives of German victims of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 plan to sue Ukraine and its president for criminal negligence for not closing the country's airspace, a lawyer said Sunday. READ  

Sport
Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top
Paderborn players celebrate after defeating Hanover 2-0 to go top of the Bundesliga. Photo: DPA

Wonder goal puts new boys Paderborn on top

Promoted Paderborn went top of the Bundesliga helped by an extraordinary 80-metre goal at Hanover on Saturday as champions Bayern Munich were held to a goalless draw by struggling Hamburg. READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Oktoberfest opens to toast millions
Celebrities Carolin Reiber and Marianne Sägebrecht raise their glasses at Oktoberfest 2014. Photo: DPA

Oktoberfest opens to toast millions

Germany's world-famous Oktoberfest kicked off Saturday with the traditional tapping of the first barrel of beer, as millions of revellers are set to soak up the frothy atmosphere in the 16-day annual extravaganza. READ  

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola
A Liberian man holds his daughter as they wait for treatment for suspected Ebola symptoms in Monrovia. Photo: DPA

Germany plan air lifts to help fight Ebola

Germany and France will send military transport planes to West Africa to help efforts to contain the Ebola epidemic, Chancellor Angela Merkel and military officials said on Friday. READ  

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany beefs up asylum rules for Balkans

Germany made it harder Friday for people from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia to apply for asylum after lawmakers classified the three Balkan countries as safe, with respect for basic rights. READ  

German Muslims rally against extremism
Muslims pray in Kreuzberg, Berlin, on Friday outside a mosque which was damaged in an arson attack. Photo: DPA

German Muslims rally against extremism

Muslims across Germany held a day of prayers and rallies on Friday to condemn both Islamic extremism and a backlash against their faith that has seen arson attacks on mosques. READ  

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup
The trainers on the air strip in Hohn, Schleswig-Holstein. Photo: Bundeswehr.

German military flight to Iraq starts with a hiccup

Military trainers flew to northern Iraq from Germany on Friday, ahead of a huge delivery of weapons from the German military, but things didn’t initially go as planned. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

UPDATE: Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,348
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd