French driving laws spark fierce debate over petrol and diesel cars

Driving laws in France have sparked an intense debate between motorists after petrol and diesel car owners were warned of potential fines.

When driving in France this summer, motorists are being warned of the fines they face for driving petrol or diesel cars. In many major French cities, road users are required to have “clean air” stickers to denote their vehicle class and their emissions output.

This is designed to reduce the number of polluting vehicles from city centres during certain times of the day.

The “Crit’Air” vignette was introduced in January 2017 as a way to slash pollution rates around the country. While they do cost, generally around €5, they could save drivers fines of up to €135.

All eligible vehicles need to display a Crit’Air vignette on their windscreen to be able to drive and park in restricted traffic zones.

Cars registered before January 1997 and motorbikes and scooters registered before June 2000 are ineligible, and cannot be driven at all where restrictions apply.