Low emission zones in Copenhagen, Frederiksberg, Odense, Aarhus and Aalborg aim to lower the particulate pollution and herby ensure cleaner air for residents.
In March 2022, the Danish Parliament decided that the five low emission zone municipalities could extend the particle filter requirement to apply to diesel passenger cars as well. The new stricter low emission zone requirements were adopted by the five municipalities and came into force on 1st October 2023.
Since 1st July 2020, stricter low emission zone requirements have applied to vans, lorries and buses in Denmark.
The Danish Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for enforcing the low emission zones.
The control of the low emission zones is based on the automatic reading of license plates with cameras and are crosschecked with available data from the respective country's vehicle register. Sund & Bælt collects vehicle data on behalf of the Danish Environmental Protection Agency for use in control and enforcement of the low emission zone requirements. The police also controls and enforces the low emission zones.
A low emission zone is defined as a large, cohesive urban area where there is significant traffic and where there are specific emission requirements for diesel-powered vehicles.
The goal of the low emission zones is to ensure cleaner air for residents. The improved health and environmental effects are achieved by lowering the concentration of potentially carcinogenic and health hazardous particulate matters. It is possible to read more about the low emissions effect in this report made by DCE – Danish Centre For Environment and Energy.
The low emission zones cover areas where many people live, work or participate in cultural and leisure activities. Less air pollution in these areas will mean improved health for many residents. Low emission zones restrict the freedom of movement in these areas, which is why there are only introduced in the urban areas that have the highest levels of pollution.
The low emission zone rules in the larger cities apply to older diesel-powered vehicles. The vehicles gain access if a particulate filter is retrofitted.
If a vehicle that does not comply with the rules is seen at a checkpoint, the Danish Environmental Protection Agency issues a fixed-penalty notice.
Danish vehicle owners receive the fixed-penalties by digital post and owners of non-Danish vehicle receive them by regular paper post. Sund & Bælt collects vehicle data for determining whether a fixed-penalty notice is to be issued.
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