By January 1, 2023, at the latest, all Spanish municipalities with more than 50,000 inhabitants, in addition to island territories, will have to have a Low Emission Zone (ZBE). And for it the DGT has designed a common indication, in form of vertical sign, to mark this type of areas restricted to traffic.
In LEZs, it will discriminate the access of cars and vehicles by environmental label. Thus, in the lower area of this vertical sign, which was defined in June 2021, it is indicated “except authorized vehicles”, adding the pictogram of different badges.
In this example provided by the DGT, cars were left out. label B, but this does not mean that it will be banned per se circulation to cars with this badge.
The municipalities will determine which vehicles they veto, as is already the case in activated LEZs
As detailed by Traffic When this sign was released, it reported the prohibited entry of motor vehicles, except those that they have the environmental distinctive indicated by the local entity at the bottom of the sign.
In other words, the signal published by the DGT is a mere example and will be the municipalities of these municipalities that must have an LEZ those who decide which cars discriminate. And those with label B do not necessarily have to be included.
We will therefore have a heterogeneous map of areas limited to traffic, something that in fact already occurs with the implemented and active LEZs. In total, almost 150 municipalities must apply this measure.
For example Barcelona’s LEZ, which includes the entire city and part of the periphery and is subject to hours and days of the week, includes in its signal that indicates the ZBE for both ECO and ZERO label cars and B and C labels among its exceptions. That is only restrict access to those without badge.
The city council had foreseen to apply the veto this 2022 to cars of label B (with the exception of the residents), but finally it won’t. And at the moment there is no definitive date, since the calendar will be modulated “based on the results and the evolution of air quality levels”, as indicated in the Metropolitan Plan for Urban Mobility (PMMU) 2019- 2024.
On the other hand, There are two active ZBE in Madrid: the of Special Protection of Central District and of Elliptical Square. The first prohibits circulation to all cars other than ZERO or ECO and the second only to the unlabeled, so that both B’s and C’s can circulate.
And the Seville ZBE It also discriminates only against unlabeled vehiclesBesides, it is not permanent and is subject to episodes of high contamination.
Ultimately, the councils will design how they consider their ZBE and which cars and vehicles restrict traffic in them and on what terms, being able to apply the veto or not to cars and vehicles of label B.
Label B vehicles: the case of cars are Euro 3 petrol and Euro 4 and 5 diesel. For trucks and buses these are Euro 4 and 5 and motorcycles are Euro 2.
The new fine of 200 euros
In addition, the new Traffic Law has defined a new serious offense for breaching both the measures applied in the Low Emission Zones as in active protocols due to high contamination. It will come into force on March 21st of this year, with the bulk of new fines.
Since it is a serious offense, the generic fine will apply to this type of offense, which is 200 euros.
Nevertheless, the DGT has confirmed to Motorpasión that the town halls will continue to have the power to apply the sanctions (amounts) that consider according to its municipal regulations.
According to Traffic, the objective of including it as an offense in the Traffic Law is to “unify” this criterion at the state levell so that municipalities have “a common umbrella“when defining sanctions.
Be that as it may, for example in the city of Madrid the amount applied now is 90 euros, but the council has already confirmed that from March it will go up to 200 euros, taking advantage of the new regulation. In Barcelona at the moment it remains at 100 euros.
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