ZFE radars: beware, they are coming!

Low Emission Zones are multiplying in French cities. To massively punish vehicles banned from circulation, ZFE radars will soon arrive.

There are many types of radars in France: mobile radars, turret radars, red light radars, section radars, anti-noise radars, discriminating radars, on-board radars… The list is long, and soon , them radars ZFE will join this large family of devices allowing massive penalties for motorists on the road.

Indeed, ZFEs (Low Emission Zones) are proliferating in France, and concern agglomerations of more than 150,000 inhabitants, which are gradually implementing them. In these ZFEs, only the most recent vehicles can circulate there, and to discriminate between them, the Crit’air sticker system was imagined. Vehicles that do not have the appropriate Crit’air sticker are then traffic bans within the ZFEs.

ZFE radars: a fine of 135 euros

What creates even more confusion among motorists is that each ZFE has its own timetable for classification: for example, the metropolis of Greater Paris currently excludes Crit’air 5 and 4 vignettes, while in Lyon , only the “5” are currently prohibited, as well as in Marseille. And the examples are numerous.

Vehicles dating from before 1997, which are not eligible for the Crit’air sticker, are automatically excluded. The ultimate goal is toprohibit the circulation of all thermal vehicles, which do not have the famous “green” Crit’air sticker. Anyone violating this system is liable to a fine of 68 euros (135 euros for heavy goods vehicles).

ZFE radars: automate sanctions

In practice, checks are currently rather rare, and must currently be carried out by law enforcement officers. They tend to show leniency: indeed, benevolent agents prefer education rather than punishment, but of course, the exception does not confirm the rule.

But things will quickly change: the arrival of ZFE radars, which automate the verification of vehicles authorized to circulate thanks to the license plate readingwill allow massive penalties for offenders.

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ZFE radars: a delayed arrival

These radars operate using ANPR (Automatic License Plate Reading) cameras, and query a database that allows the vehicle to be linked to its Crit’air vignette. The problem is that this system is not not yet approved by the State, and its deployment should not take place before the second half of 2023, or even the year 2024.

This delay in the deployment is already pointed out by some presidents of metropolises, who regret a “shortfall”. In Paris, we are already counting on the date of 1is July 2023 for the installation of ZFE radars: a date which has already been postponed by one year, for lack of approval.