French cities such as Paris, Lyon, Grenoble, and Aix-en-Provence are planning to test a ban on gas guzzlers such as SUVs, according to John Voelcker over at Greencarreports.
Paris is set to be one of the first cities to experiment with such a car policy. In 2012 city officials will begin to set restrictions on dirty gas guzzlers that emit an high amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometer. It is still unclear what kind of specific details the French restrictions will have as they are still being debated.
"An official within the Parisian mayor’s office, Denis Baupin, identified older diesel-engined cars and sport-utility vehicles as specific targets of the emissions limit.
"I’m sorry," Baupin said on RTL Radio, "but having a sport utility vehicle in a city makes no sense." He suggested that Parisian SUV owners replace their sport utilities with vehicles that are "compatible with city life.""
Besides this ban on gas guzzlers in a number of French cities the European Union has issued several policies and strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the European transport sector. These policies include a regulation on CO2 emissions from newly manufactured passenger cars that will take effect in 2012 as well.
In USA the state of California actually has a similar regulations on heavy SUVs on residential roads in effect. But as Andy Bowers points out the regulation is not being enforced by the authorities or city officials.
"And don’t expect to see stickers on new SUVs with warnings like "CAUTION: This Vehicle May Be Illegal On Many California Roads." At a GM dealership in Santa Monica, I asked a salesman (who declined to give his name) whether he informs buyers that the Tahoes and Suburbans he’s selling them are banned on most streets in the city. "I’m not aware of it," he said.
I suspect the biggest impediment to enforcing these bans is political will—SUVs are wildly popular, and it will take brave city and state officials to challenge the right of residents to use their own streets. (Of course, like a FedEx truck, heavy SUVs are allowed to use local roads for a few blocks if they have business there—like going to or from a house. But in general, they’re supposed to take the shortest possible path between designated truck routes.)"
Related reading: Politicians wants to ban gas cars in Norway after 2015
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