People with a disability are exempt from the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) in Brussels, the regional government decided on Thursday.
Since the LEZ’ introduction, almost 15,000 fines have been issued, although the number of violations has decreased a lot recently. In December 2019, about 75% of violations were recorded compared to January that year.
“For people with disabilities, the use of the car is unavoidable. They cannot replace the car with other means of transport and often have financial difficulties. By exempting this target group from the LEZ, we make the system a lot more humane,” announced Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron.
This is in line with the Flemish regulations, which contains an exemption for holders of the special parking card for people with a disability, who also benefit from an increased healthcare allowance. Whoever also meets these conditions in Brussels will not be fined.
The exemption was adopted on Thursday at first reading by the Council of Ministers, but has yet to be submitted to the Advisory Councils as well as to the Council of State before it can be approved definitively.
However, the government has already decided that it will enter into force retroactively from 1 April.
The criteria to enter the Brussels LEZ have been systematically tightened since 2018. Since 1 January, diesel vehicles must have a minimum Euro 4 standard. For petrol cars, Euro 2 will still be sufficient until 2024. The next steps are planned for 2022 and 2025.