France Is Expanding Driving Restrictions to Fight Pollution

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Officials extended driving restrictions in Paris on Thursday and will expand them to Lyon by the end of the week as the worst air pollution in a decade continues to threaten public health in the country’s urban centers, according to a Le Monde report.

Paris has restricted half of vehicles from the road based on whether their license plate ended with an odd or even number as low winds have failed to blow the pollution off land into the ocean. The move is the fourth ban in 20 years and the first time the city has made such a move on consecutive days.

“Cars are poisoning the air. We need to take preventive measures,” said Paris transport official Herve Levife, according to a Reuters report.

Air pollution has received increased attention from scientists and policymakers in recent months as new research tolls the devastating effect it has on human health even in the developed world. A recent report from the World Health Organization (WHO) showed that more than 90% of the world’s population lives in areas with unsafe levels of air pollution. Cities like London and Paris have largely focused on addressing pollution from vehicles to address the crisis with mixed success.

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