Italian Cities Clamp down on High-Polluting Cars
MILAN Citizens in one Alpine region of northern Italy have been walking or taking the bus to work since a curfew on more polluting cars and scooters came into force this month.
The cities of Bolzano, Merano, Bressanone and Brunico have largely banned cars more than 10 years old and scooters, beloved of Italian teenagers, that are more than five years old.
"We've noticed that there are fewer jams, especially on the roads into the city, and teenagers are switching to bicycles," Delazer Heimo of Bolzano's traffic information centre said on Wednesday.
Many European cities are expected to take similar measures when European Union air quality rules take effect next year.
Bolzano and the others are prone to air pollution because they sit in valleys. Heimo said that, despite Italians' legendary love for their vehicles, curfew breaches had been few.
The ban applies from 7 to 9 a.m., 12 to 4 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m., and will initially run until April 1.
Vehicles that meet tougher EU emission standards are exempt -- and owners of banned vehicles get a discount on bus passes.