Diesel Cars

Paris' next solution for reducing air pollution? Stickers

Yes, stickers. Pourquoi pas?

Wieslawa Hoummada/Getty Images

Paris has restricted car use in its city limits in the past, in the hopes of curbing its air pollution problem. Now, it's trying a new approach: stickers.

Cars will be given stickers of various colors, based on a vehicle's age. The "Crit'Air" system will start by banning diesel vehicles registered between January 1997 and December 2000, Reuters reports. Approximately 6 percent of the country's 32 million vehicles fall into this category. The sticker color in question is, appropriately, gray -- cars wearing it will be stopped from driving in the French capital.

Pedestrians stroll along Paris' famous Champs-Elysees on a Sunday in September 2015 when the city experimented with a partial ban on car traffic.

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The hope is that stickers will make it easier for police to figure out quickly whether or not a vehicle is allowed to be driving through Paris. The city has flirted with bans in the past based on license plate numbers.

If Anne Hidalgo, the city's mayor, has her way, it won't stop there. She wants to extend the ban to vehicles registered between 2001 and 2005, which covers another 14 percent of those 32 million vehicles. These vehicles will all sport a brown sticker, which is, again, somewhat apt.

Hidalgo took additional measures to limit city traffic, as well. She's banned free parking on Saturdays and over the August holiday season, and raised fees at other times. Reuters reports that a highway that straddles the Seine River will be converted into a park, too.

Pollution continues to be a big problem in the City of Light. It's nowhere near as bad as China's well publicized smog, but Parisians are starting to blame various ills on the air quality, including coughing fits and eye irritation, two problems air pollution can easily exacerbate.

Last year, Paris attempted to curb pollution by offering free public transportation throughout the city, but it apparently wasn't very successful.