Germans Don’t Like Smog

Thanks to the BBCBerlin, Cologne, and Hanover have all decided to implement a neat way to make sure that their air is cleaner than other cities by using stickers. Drivers will have to buy stickers that denote how much pollution their cars emit and will be charge accordingly when driving in designated environmental zones. This is such a neat and simple idea.

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.

One thought on “Germans Don’t Like Smog

  1. I’m really glad I don’t live in Germany, then. It’s easy at first glance to say “let’s punish the polluters!”, but I feel it would work better to use the carrot than the stick. Most of the polluting cars are likely to be older: is this the last car of an elderly woman who holds on to it because it is from her deceased husband? Is it a car that has been inherited by a poor college student who in no way can afford to buy a new one? It seems like these stickers are fining those who cannot afford to purchase a new, non-polluting vehicle, and taking money out of their pockets that might go toward that.

    Are there exemptions for such indigent situations? Is it even possible to take the long way around by driving from one non-environmental zone to another? I’d like to know.

    Really, though, I’d rather see tax incentives to encourage people to purchase low emission vehicles.

Comments are closed.

Scroll To Top