Brussels’ Low Emission Zone starts showing results
According to a report from the Brussels Environment, the Brussels Low Emission Zone has led to an accelerated reduction of NOx and small particulates. In total, the Region has given 1.744 warnings and 558 350-euro fines to Euro 0 and Euro 1 diesel car owners for driving inside the LEZ. The government estimates that between June and December 2018, NOx emissions have dropped by 4,7%, while small particulates (PM2.5) emissions have been reduced by 6,4%.
One and a half years after the Brussels Low Emission Zone became a reality, the government takes a step back to look at the consequences. Brussels Environment Minister, Céline Fremault (cdH) underlines the importance of the project. Between 2016 and the 2018 introduction, 200 ANPR cameras had to be installed, and so did 300 traffic signs. Plus, a data crossing software had to be put up between the Region and the DIV.
45 fines per day
In total, the Region has delivered 1.744 warnings and 558 fines to Euro 0 and Euro 1 diesel car owners for driving inside the LEZ. Before the introduction of fines, there were on average 149 vehicles in violation. Afterward, between October and December, the average went down to 45 a day.
Brussels cannot yet show the real effect of the LEZ on air quality. Therefore, the government calculated a theoretical effect. “Based on camera data and taking into account that the number of kilometers driven hasn’t changed, we estimate that between June and December 2018 emissions from cars have dropped by 4,7% for NOx and 6,4% for small particulates (PM2.5)”, details the report.
Currently, the LEZ bans Euro 0, Euro 1 and Euro 2 diesel cars and Euro 0 and Euro 1 petrol cars to drive into Brussels. Some vehicles are exempt (1.144), such as old-timers and emergency vehicles. On average, 25 of them drive every day inside the LEZ.
Let’s also note that since the introduction of the zone, the number of Bruxel’air applications has grown by 37%. The above-mentioned bonus gives a free one-year Stib/Mivb pass to any Brussels citizen who stops using a car.
What about foreign cars?
On the whole, 583.000 foreign cars were detected by the cameras between July 26 and December 31, 2018. Only 16.777 had followed the necessary procedures. Minister Fremault informs measures will be put up to improve the situation. But, it’s still very difficult to make the LEZ known beyond Belgian borders.