Wallonia to start crackdown on particulate filter fraud in 2020
Starting in 2020, Walloon Mobility Minister, Carlo Di Antonio (cdh), and his Brussels and Flanders colleagues will crack down on particulate filter fraud by equipping technical control centres with new machines. The idea is to stop people from taking the filter out to increase performance by impounding the car and giving out fines.
They had already announced it last year. The three Regions together will invest more than 340.000 euro in the development and installation of a new technology that will allow the technical control centres to detect particulate filter fraud. “The first centres will be equipped in early 2020”, announces Walloon Mobility Minister, Carlo Di Antonio (cdh). Each of the one hundred machines will cost around 10.000 euro.
Polluting more for better performances
Currently, while technical control centres are equipped with machines that can detect the pollution levels of cars, this older technology can’t detect the number of small particulates emitted out of the exhaust pipe. Together with the Group of approved companies for automobile control and driving licences (GOCA), the government has called upon a Swiss company to develop a system that measures the amount of particulates in the air (called Particule Number).
“Antwerp and Brussels have taken measures to reduce the number of polluting cars driving in their surroundings. It is not normal, however, that some drivers, who cheat by removing their particulate filter for better performance, are still allowed to keep on driving”, adds the Walloon Minister. Carlo Di Antonio will be ruthless. The amount of the fine hasn’t been set yet but the major idea is to impound the car.
Low emission zone in Wallonia
The government has already announced it: in 2030, it will ban all diesels and start banning other cars by 2026. Before that, the minister will introduce a decree allowing municipalities to define a perimeter where the most polluting cars aren’t allowed.
“In Liège, the tram will be built by 2022 and park & ride facilities will be put up. Nothing stops the city to ban polluting cars if they’ve got an alternative”, explains the Minister, who also points out that there is no urgency in air quality for Liège or Charleroi, contrary to Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.