A driver of a car with an A license plate can now cross the new Madrid Low Emissions Zone (ZBE) from south to north or east to west without a fine, despite the city council ruling fines of up to 200 euros for vehicles. does not have the right to move around the blocks located inside the M-30. It is capable of doing this because the council does not have enough cameras to monitor all the entrances: it only has 15 scattered throughout the city to detect tens of thousands of cars entering Madrid every day.
The reason for this meager rollout is that the 110 cameras scheduled to monitor compliance at all entrances didn’t arrive in time for them to launch, which would take months due to the Environment and Mobility zone being closed. is still processing the tender for their installation. Thus, the Madrid City Council is using 15 photo red devices that it already had at some traffic lights, where vehicles passing them are subject to sanctions, as well as fining those who do not comply with the central almond low emission zone.
Due to this circumstance, there are many examples of trips within the capital without detecting a violating driver. For example, you can enter through Santa Maria de la Cabeza until you reach Atocha, go up Paseos del Prado and Recoletos, take Genova and go through Santa Engracia, continue up through Bravo Murillo to Plaza de Castilla and exit via Nudo Norte. . Not a single camera would have detected him on this route of more than 11 kilometers. You can also do this by entering from the A-5 motorway through the roundabouts of Segovia, Toledo and Valencia, going up through Alfonso XII and exiting through Alcalá Street.
This is the location of the cameras currently inside the M-30:
How long can polluting cars make these trips with impunity? In the field of environment and mobility, they assure that the tender will be announced in the coming days and that it has been delayed due to a lengthy bureaucracy since its launch in May 2021. At the time of the signing of the contract and according to the specifications of the contract that Somos Madrid has seen, the responsible company will have five months to deploy all the cameras and put them into operation. As soon as they are turned on, there will be another two months without fines for 110 cameras. According to these dates, the ZBE control system could become operational at the end of this or early 2023.
The same sources remind that mobility agents also have the ability to fine vehicles with environmental classification A (diesel vehicles registered before 2006 and gasoline vehicles registered before 2000) if they find that they are driving without a permit. around the area inside the M30. They also warn that photo-red traffic lights will continue to be authorized during the warning period for the rest of the cameras.
From the Sea of Madrid, they describe the current control system created by the department under the leadership of Borja Carabante as a “filter”. His adviser Esther Gomez denounces that “ZBE is launching late, with very limited coverage as it affects very few vehicles, and with a faulty control system.” He also calculated that “we are going to spend almost a year monitoring the ZBE with cameras that are installed not for this purpose, but to ensure that vehicles do not pass red lights,” he says, regretting that “the Almeida government does not accept mobility and pollution control are serious and this is another proof of this. This is an unfortunate solution to such an important issue as air quality.”
900 fines per day
The Madrid Low Emissions Zone (ZBE) is the third no-polluting vehicle zone created by the city council. The other two are the low emission zones of the District Central (formerly Madrid Central) and Plaza Elíptica, which came into effect in December 2021.
Sanctions on the new ZBE, the limits and exceptions of which are still not known to many, began last Monday, May 1. The planned fines are 200 euros for non-eco-labelled passenger cars, although there are some exceptions in the rules. Last Tuesday, a Mobility delegate pointed out that the 15-chamber system is issuing about 900 tickets each day, despite the council granting two additional months without sanctions due to the sheer degree of non-compliance with 78,000 drivers being fined. drew attention to ignoring the measure in the first two months of its work.
Municipal regulations stipulate that this ZBE will be extended from January 1 next year to all traffic inside the M-30, for which the Ecological District has tendered a new contract for the supply and installation of cameras on this road, which will be subsidized by EU NextGeneration funds.
Controlling Madrid’s low-emission zones is one of the keys to reducing pollutant gases such as nitrogen dioxide, a substance for which the capital continues to fall short of maximum levels set by community rules. For now, the Almeida government is not doing well: data from the first quarter of this year shows that the Plaza Elíptica low-emission area is accumulating more pollution than during the same period in 2021.
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