March 17 - In a move to reduce smog in Paris, police are fining cars with even-numbered license plates, with the exemptions of hybrid vehicles. Gavino Garay reports.
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It's a good time to have a hybrid in Paris.
Otherwise, hundreds of police are pulling cars over, trying to battle a smoggy situation.
It's the most dramatic police intervention since 1997, when authorities tried to reduce health-threatening pollution.
Cars with even-numbered license plates were told to stay home.
Those who caught a ride with at least three people in their car, or in so-called 'clean' hybrid cars, were exempt.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) COMMANDING POLICE OFFICER JEAN-PIERRE MEUTELET SAYING:
"Of course, we check all the vehicles we can. We ask the drivers to safely pull up on the side of the street and we look at their situation. Some of them are part of the exceptions such as cars with even numbers, which have more than three people on board. There are also hybrid vehicles, low emission vehicles, electric vehicles etc.. In those cases we don't fine them, and leave them to drive on."
Recent balmy weather has contributed to pollution.
And while their efforts are helping clear the skies --
Some drivers had to pull over nonetheless.
(SOUNDBITE) (French) ANONYMOUS ROAD USER SAYING:
"It's a first step to curb the pollution we face on a daily basis."
Those who used public transport are were in luck -- with a free ride today.
Around 120 vehicles were stopped by authorities early in the day.
Drivers who defied the rules faced fines of 22 Euros, or $31 U.S. dollars.
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