While Chinese cities such as Beijing continue to look for possible solutions to their smog problems, on the other side of the Eastern Hemisphere, Paris took drastic action to curb its growing pollution issues.
On Monday, March 17, France's capital city banned all cars with even license plates from its roadways in an attempt to reduce pollution levels, which have reached an all-time high.
About 700 police officers were deployed to hundreds of checkpoints around France to enforce the restriction, which permitted only odd-only license plates to drive on roadways throughout Paris, according to the Local.
The majority of French vehicles driving through Paris abided by the odd-even license plate restriction on Monday, with some drivers even opting to take free public transport during the ban. However, some drivers ignored the ban outright, with police officers responding in kind by issuing 4,000 €22 tickets and fines to drivers (€35 if not paid immediately), according to France 24.
The odd-even vehicle restriction is relatively rare for Paris, but it isn’t the first time the French capital has attempted to curb pollution through its use of a vehicle ban. Paris attempted a similar pollution control measure previously in 1997 to bring pollution down to safer levels.
While commuter response to the ban was mixed, those angered by the ban fortunately did not have to endure a second day of vehicle restrictions in Paris. After seeing improved air quality in the French capital, officials formally announced that the ban would be lifted on Tuesday, according to Le Monde.
The odd-even license plate ban may be a rarity for French cities such as Paris. However, other cities around the world such as Metro Manila, Philippines have enacted such bans for years in an attempt other issues, including traffic congestion. While cities in the United States haven’t implemented an odd-even license plate vehicle restrictions in the past, motorists have been indirectly affected through similar odd-even license plate restrictions on gasoline during the 1979 oil crisis.
Take a closer look at Paris’ attempt to curb pollution in the photos below.