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    Brussels low-emissions zone kicks into higher gear

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Brussels officials are ready to start giving out fines to drivers who enter the city with old, heavily polluting diesel vehicles. Speaking during a Brussels parliament committee meeting, the Brussels-Capital Region’s minister for environment Céline Fremault has said that implementation of the city’s low-emissions zone, which covers the entire region, is going according to plan.

    Number-plate recognition cameras have been checking for vehicles, both Belgian and foreign-registered, that do not conform to the environmental standards since July 1 and the city will begin issuing €350 fines October 1. Until then, drivers who are caught entering the low-emissions zone with a banned vehicle (vehicles without Euronorm emission standard or with Euronorm 1) will simply receive a written warning.

    The city has also installed 176 cameras – with more to come. “Sixty cameras will be added by October 1. Approval from the 19 communes and the Privacy Commission has been granted to use the images,” Fremault said, referring to the federal authority that governs data protection in Belgium.

    Some 300 road signs have also been put up to alert drivers from Flanders and Wallonia that they are entering a low-emissions zone, Fremault added.

    The low-emissions zone officially entered into effect in January of this year.

    Linda A. Thompson
    The Brussels Times