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What you need to know about Geneva's new traffic rules

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What you need to know about Geneva's new traffic rules
From next year you'll need a sticker on your car. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
10:25 CET+01:00
The canton of Geneva is breaking new ground in Switzerland with its anti-pollution car sticker system, StickAIR.

From January 15th of next year, highly polluting vehicles will no longer be allowed to drive in the centre of Geneva in the event of a smog alert.

Coloured stickers will be affixed to each automobile's windshield to indicate its environmental performance.

Green will be reserved for electric vehicles or those running on hydrogen, which are the most environmentally friendly. At the other end of the scale, the grey colour will indicate the least ecological cars, which will be banned from the city centre in the event of heightened air pollution

If smog persists, the restrictions will be extended to vehicles immediately after the grey in the hierarchy –brown, orange, yellow, and purple. The emission code on the car's registration card will determine the colour of the sticker.

The ban will not apply to police cars, ambulances or cars driven by people with disabilities.

Such limitations will most likely be rare, as Geneva is usually impacted by smog alerts only 10 days a year.

A similar measure is already in place in nearby areas of France, so it would be easy to control the cross-border traffic, officials said. About 100,000 'frontaliers' live in France but travel into Geneva to work each day. 

StickAIR, which will can be purchased in December at gas stations and municipal offices, will cost 5 francs. Offenders who do not affix the sticker to their windshield, or who drive in the city during smog alerts, will be fined 500 francs.


New regulations also provide for other measures to be adopted during peaks of air pollution, such as free public transport and reduced speed on the bypass highway. A transitional period of two years has been granted to commercial vehicles to comply with the restrictions. "We have adopted a compromise between economic freedom and the right to breathe healthy air," said a Geneva Councilor, Antonio Hodgers.

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