Motorists driving older, more polluting diesel vehicles in the recently-introduced low emissions zone (LEZ) in Antwerp face fines; this week it was revealed some of those fined include vehicles of the federal police themselves. A spokesperson for the federal police has confirmed to the Gazet van Antwerpen that the force has received at least one fine for the use of an older, high-emissions diesel vehicle within the LEZ, which was introduced last March. A later report spoke of five fines.
Brussels intends to introduce an LEZ of its own shortly.
The federal police has 60 older diesels as part of its fleet of over 3,400 vehicles, which fail to meet the levels required for entry into the LEZ. The force is currently negotiating with the authorities in Antwerp and Brussels for exceptions to the rule.
“But that is a temporary solution,” said Guy Theskens of the federal police. “In the longer term we want to replace the older models with petrol cars and hybrids.”
The exception being sought concerns vehicles which are not being used for priority tasks; vehicles used for priority police tasks are already excepted from the LEZ limits. Those include vehicles used in emergency interventions, and those used by detectives.
In the meantime, the offending vehicles will be re-purposed to zones far from the two main LEZs.
The Antwerp LEZ covers the city centre and the Linkeroever district. For diesel vehicles, the Euronorm limit – indicated on the registration document – is 4, with an exception for Euronorm 3 vehicles fitted with a filter until 2019. Owners of Euronorm 3 vehicles without a filter can pay a fee upfront. Vehicles without a Belgian or Dutch number plate have to register, regardless of Euronorm.