Berlin Drivers Don't Balk At Emission Badges


In Berlin's 'green' zone, eventually only cars with a green badge will be able to pass go

Since the start of the year, drivers to the inner city of Berlin - the 88-square kilometer area inside the subway 'ring' - must display badges to show their cars meet new rules for particulate and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions. Cars without badges are subject to the not-too hefty ticket price of 40 Euros (US$58) and a penalty point on the errant driver's license. Police say they will go easy on delinquents in the first couple of months. Altogether about 1.7 million older diesel cars and gas cars without catalytic converters will be too polluting to meet the new emission requirements and are thus banned from the heart of Berlin as well as Cologne and Hanover. Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Munich as well as 14 other cities will all deploy the system later this year.

In 2010 the emissions law will be further tightened, and only 'green badge' cars will be able to go into the inner city zones. Perhaps the measure will put even more Berliners on their bikes and help the city reach its goal of 15 percent of city traffic made up on cyclists. Via