In the opinion of the German Traffic Court Conference, the Federal Republic of Germany has failed to lay down clear rules in order to enforce the emission limits established throughout Europe.
The discussion about the emission limits in the cities does not stop. A short attention span in the media has recently been reached by about 100 pulmonary physicians, who found that the scientific data on the health risk posed by nitrogen dioxide (NO2) contained systemic errors. For the signatories of the position paper, the value is too low and has no scientific basis. The claim in turn was met with much criticism. But what is it all about? In Germany, the limit of NO2is 40 micrograms per cubic meter of air averaged over a year. This is repeatedly exceeded in the cities. One of the causers is traffic. As a result, some cities are introducing bans on older diesel vehicles.
Lack of measures to combat air pollution
But the fundamental problem to combat this type of air pollution in the opinion of the German Traffic Court Conference is probably more the state, which has so far failed to take appropriate measures to enforce compliance with the limits. So Prof. Dr. med. Julius Reiter, lawyer at the law firm of Baum & Reiter and member of Working Group VII of the 57th German Traffic Court stated that the result of this politics has been an excess of nitrogen dioxide limits in a large number of German cities over years.
The working group therefore demands that the state rethink its previous relationship with the automotive industry. So far, Germany has put the development of the automotive industry above full compliance with applicable law. Now the state must take this responsibility. But so far, the agreements are merely patchwork. One with wich the affected diesel drivers can hardly be satisfied.
Badly formulated regulation
Another problem, according to the opinion of Working Group VII of the 57th German Traffic Court Conference, is the 39th Federal Immission Control Ordinance in the version valid from 31.12.2016. The rules contain some guidelines that are characterized by a clear blur. Therefore, they leave a considerable latitude in the choice of location for a measuring station. This even goes so far as to contradict the stipulated aim of Directive 2008/50/EC, according to the working group. The collected data should be sufficiently representative and comparable across the Community.
In the discussion about driving bans, it is becoming clearer and clearer that the state has protected automobile manufacturers for far too long. It is time to create clear rules here, otherwise the bans on driving will not be met because of poor values. The victims will then remain the people in the affected regions.