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First warning letters sent in Brussels diesel ban
Warning letters have been sent out to 800 drivers in Brussels who continue to use their old diesel cars despite a ban since 1 January.
The low-emissions zone, which covers the entire Brussels region, prohibits diesel vehicles made before 1997 and will be gradually extended to more recent cars.
The first €350 fines are due to be issued from 1 October after a nine-month awareness campaign - and the first formal warning letters hit drivers' letterbox on 1 July.
The warnings are the result of 176 number-plate-scanning cameras which have been installed all over Brussels. Another 60 are due to be switched on by October.
So far, 76 vehicle owners have applied for an exemption - for example, private ambulance drivers - out of the 3,000 banned vehicles registered in the Brussels region.
Owners of pre-1997 diesel vehicles - which bear the Euro 1 standard - can still buy a pass to carry on using their vehicle for up to eight days a year, at a cost of €35 per day.
From January 2019, the ban will be extended to Euro 2 vehicles, which were registered between 1997 and 2000, bring the number of banned vehicles to 33,000.
By 2025, 262,000 vehicles currently on the road will be banned, according to estimates by Brussels Environment.