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Paris mayor proposes ban on old cars

Law would require drivers to upgrade to vehicles made after 1997.

By Claire_Martin Nov 26, 2012 5:54AM
Paris traffic photo by Radovan BahnaParisians are bracing for a new law that would require them to retire their classic cars, beaters and all vehicles made before 1997. Mayor Bertrand Delanoë has proposed the legislation in an effort to comply with European emissions regulations by 2014.

Classic-car enthusiasts are distressed at the thought of their Peugeots, Citroëns and Renaults being garaged. “For me, the [Citroën] 2CV is part of French heritage, of Parisian heritage,” Xavier Audran, owner of multiple Citroëns, told The New York Times. “I wouldn’t be able to leave my home with my vehicles.”

Others are concerned about the cost of upgrading, and they say less affluent suburbanites would be hit hardest by the ban, which would affect 367,000 vehicles.

The mayor's proposal, which would require approval by the French government and the Parisian police department next year, does address the cost factor. Subsidies to help car owners get rid of old cars would come in the form of free subscriptions to the city's electric-car rental system or rebates for those trading in old vehicles for newer, more fuel-efficient ones.

Paris wouldn't be the first to enact such a ban. Calcutta, India, outlawed older vehicles in 2008, and since 1990, drivers in Singapore have been required by law to scrap or export their cars after 10 years of ownership. Two years ago, Berlin began prohibiting diesel vehicles that don't meet the standards passed in 2005.

But other cities have taken different approaches to the problem of emissions-related pollution. In 2003, London began charging drivers who failed to comply with emissions standards a daily fee, and it upped the ante in 2008 by instituting a so-called low-emission zone for heavy diesel vehicles. A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Sydney showed the system to be effective in curtailing car emissions, but still not necessarily a success with commercial vehicles.

Several Latin American cities, including Mexico City; Bogota, Colombia; and São Paolo, Brazil, have attempted to cut emissions by restricting drivers from using their cars one workday each week. But Parisians won't want to emulate that tactic, according to researchers who conducted a study at the University of Michigan. "There is no evidence of an absolute improvement in air quality during any period of the week for any pollutant," they concluded.

[Sources: The New York Times, Fox News]
Nov 26, 2012 6:12AM

Get ready, folks.  As our present form of government migrates towards a more European (aka socialist) model this type of legislation could very easily find its way here.

Nov 28, 2012 7:00PM
Seems like a stupid idea initially, but if you stop to think about it, it's actually a brilliant way to boost sales for every car company and dealership in France. Singapore goes even further and requires you to replace your car every 10 years. Just think how big of a boom it would be for auto manufacturers, knowing that they'll always get a fresh round of customers every 10 years. I'm willing to bet that these laws also raise the price of used cars as well, since newer used models will be in hot demand. I always thought those cheese-eating surrender monkeys were big time socialists hostile to capitalism, turns out that quite a few of them are actually stooges for corporate interests as well, just like Republicans in America!
Nov 27, 2012 7:31PM

We all know how easily this can happen. It wasn't too long ago where we were all forced to upgrade our anaolg TVs in order to pickup the new digital TV airwaves.  People had to buy an HD conerter box if they weren't fortunate enough to get a "coupon" for one.


Sadly, we may one day be forced to mothball our classic cars because of a ban like this or from something as simple as not having the compatible fuel available. As an example,  I'm already having trouble finding ethanol free fuel for my classic car.   



Nov 26, 2012 1:36PM
It's all Mr Obama's fault,you're right Mr,mrchriss,you are going to trade your trailer or move to another location. Arizona would be great,you'll be able to see Russia from your mobile crib
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