Reducing traffic emissions
Does your city have idling regulations? The Danish Ministry of the Environment often receives complaints from citizens about idling engines. In response, several measures have been taken to address this problem.
Regulations for vehicle idling
Municipalities are responsible for idling regulations, as nuisances normally occur locally in urban areas. Therefore, it is best if the individual municipality determine regulation is needed. Roughly one third of Danish municipalities have already introduced idling regulations.
Since 1982, municipalities have been able to issue regulations for vehicle idling. So contact your municipality for more information on idling regulations in your city.
Campaigns against idling
Contraventions of the provisions on idling are reported to the police and may be punishable by a fine. However, it is difficult to monitor compliance in practice. The Environmental Protection Agency, municipalities and FDM (the Federation of Danish Motorists) have run various campaigns urging motorists to turn off idling engines.
Emissions of harmful substances from vehicle idling are regulated by the European emission standards (Euro norms). These norms have been considerably tightened over the last 15 years, leading to a general reduction of more than 90 percent of sulphur and nitrogen oxide emissions from new cars.
The Environmental Protection Agency therefore estimates that environmental damage from idling vehicles is significantly lower today than in 1982, when idling regulations were introduced. Localised pollution is still a matter of concern, however.
The Danish Parliament passed in 2006 an act allowing the four largest cities in Denmark to introduce low emission zones. On 7 May 2019, the Danish Parliament adopted stricter environmental requirements for trucks, busses and vans in larger Danish cities. The five municipalities decided to include passenger cars from October 1, 2023.
Improved air quality
The low emission zones was implemented to reduce particulate emission from diesel-powered vehicles in the four larger cities in Denmark.
Particulate matter pollution is a health concern, which can lead to shorter life expectancy, increased morbidity and a decrease in general well-being.
The low emission zones cover areas where many people live, work or participate in cultural and leisure activities. Less air pollution in these areas will mean improved health for many residents.
See where the low emission zones are located here.
Owners (users) of non-Danish vehicles, that are first registered before the current date limits, are required to register before entering a low emission zone with a vehicle which has a particulate filter or fulfill the Euronnorm requirement.
If you have a van, with a first registration date before 1st September 2016, you must register the vehicle with documentation for particulate filter/euronorm 5.
If you have a lorry or a bus with a first registration date before 1st January 2015, you must register the vehicle with documentation for particulate filter/euronorm VI.
If you have a passenger car with a first registration date before 1st January 2011, you must register the vehicle with documentation for particulate filter/euronorm 5 to drive legally in the low emission zones from 1st October 2023.
Read more about the required documentation and register the vehicle(s) here.
To learn more about the low emission zone regulation in Denmark please visit: miljoezoner.dk/eng