They were scheduled for April 1, but a moratorium was applied by the Covid-19

The imposition of economic fines for entering the Low Emission Zone of Barcelona with cars and motorcycles that do not have the DGT environmental label will begin on September 15, as confirmed by the city council.

The ZBE began operating on January 1, but the fines, which were scheduled for April 1, were suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic and the possibility that citizens would need to drive to medical centers.

Now, the City Council has announced that the sanctions will begin on September 15. The RACC had asked to delay them in early 2021 “since many of the problems that exist have not been solved”, citing the recovery of public transport, the lack of alternatives or the impact of teleworking, nor how the school year will start next September, coinciding fully with the entry into force of the fines.

The consistory has taken advantage of the pandemic to continue its dissuasive policy of the use of the private vehicle. Many streets have seen a lane disappear, won in favor of bicycles and scooters, or simply as an extension of the sidewalks. The changes have been made without works, simply applying paint on the asphalt.

The city council headed by Ada Colau is alarmed because, during Phase 2, urban traffic has grown faster than expected. The consistory measurements affirm that it is already 80% of the pre-pandemic situation, while public transport has only recovered 40%. A change of habits for protection, for wanting to avoid the massification of public transport.

And there is the issue of air quality. Pollution decreased rapidly during the pandemic, but this past week it has rebounded significantly, approaching the maximums recommended by the WHO and could exceed the annual limits at the end of the year; This could make Barcelona have to pay a large fine that the city council does not want to have to face.

Returning to the ZBE and its fines: the measure entered into force on January 1, although for the moment a ‘informative moratorium’ was decreed so that the imposition of fines was postponed to April 1. The appearance of COVID-19 caused the city council to postpone the imposition of fines during confinement. Now, once entered into Phase 3, it has already set a date for the activation of the fines, although it will apply a moratorium to the most disadvantaged sectors.

Recall that cameras will automatically capture images of vehicles entering the city, detecting violators. The cameras and their computer system are connected to the DGT database and thus detect the offenders.

There are cameras in the city as well, and if once a violation is detected, the offender has one hour to leave the city or incurs a second violation. Let’s remember that basically the ZBE has its perimeter delimited by the Rounds, with few exceptions: access to an industrial estate in Santa Coloma is allowed, while some areas of Collserola outside the Rounds are considered ZBE.

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