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Brussels agrees new exemption for disabled drivers in Low Emission Zone

Illustration picture shows a sign that signals you are entering a LEZ  - the 'Low Emission Zone' (BELGA PHOTO NICOLAS MAETERLINCK)
10:45 04/03/2021

People with reduced mobility can now apply for an exemption allowing them access to the Brussels low-emission zone even if their vehicle does not meet emission standards.

The regional government’s decision, initiated by Alain Maron, the Brussels minister for environment and climate transition, will adapt Brussels’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) legislation bringing it in line with that adopted by Flanders in 2015.

The Brussels low emission zone has been in existence for more than three years and should eventually improve air quality in Brussels. Step by step, the city’s authorities hope to eventually ban the most polluting vehicles from the capital.

The new exception will allow people with reduced mobility to continue to move around Brussels, without sanction. "These people depend on their car to move around and their financial situation makes it difficult to purchase a new vehicle," said a spokesperson for Brussels Environment.

The new amendment to the capital’s LEZ legislation is in addition to the current exemptions for vehicles specifically adapted to the transport of persons with disabilities.

Specifically, the new exceptions to the low emission zone only apply to people with a mobile disability who receive an increased contribution from the state for health care. In addition, they must also be holders of a special parking card for persons with disabilities. The exemption can only be requested for one vehicle per special parking card.

People who meet all the conditions will also be able to count on the retroactive effect of the measure until 1 April 2020. Another difference to existing exemptions is that validity lasts for five years instead of three.

Written by Nick Amies