Starting on the first day of this new year, three German cities (Berlin, Hannover and Cologne, pictured) have applied a complete ban on all vehicles that have no catalysers or DPF (Diesel Particulate Filters) in the city centers. To enter, cars must have a windshied sticker stating the installation of such devices.

German authorities try to keep city centers as clean as possible. The extension of these areas differs (we're speaking about very different cities here) but they include more than the historical city centers. Drivers can purchase identification labels for their vehicles and, in Berlin's case, it's estimated that 80 percent of the city's 1.2 million vehicles already have these labels. For now, Berlin's enforcement will be flexible; it's not until the end of January that drivers without such identificators will be fined. But from then on, the fine is 400 EUR.

Similar plans are currently being applied in cities around Italy (with mixed results). Other cities in Europe are also thinking about similar bans.

[Source: Agencia EFE via El Economista]

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