"Low Emission Zones" (German: Umweltzone) are restricted traffic zones found in numerous cities throughout Germany, usually in highly populated areas, to reduce air pollution caused by particulate matter. No motorized vehicles are allowed to drive within a low emission zone, unless they exceed certain emission standards. Karlsruhe will establish a low emission zone around an extended downtown area, beginning on January 1st, 2009.
City of Karlsruhe
A low emission zone will come into effect in Karlsruhe by January 1st, 2009. Past this date, a special badge (German: Feinstaubplakette), visibly attached to the windshield, is mandatory to drive a motor vehicle within low emission zones. There will be no exceptions for residents. It is not decided yet if there will be exception for certain classic cars. These badges are available since March 1st, 2007, and can be obtained at your local DMV (German: Zulassungsstelle) or your local "Technical Inspection Authority" (German: Prüfstelle, e.g. TÜV or DEKRA).
Low Emission Zone in Karlsruhe
The Karlsruhe low emission zone lies within the boundaries of the Adenauerring, Durlacher Allee, Wolfartsweierer Straße, Südtangente, Ettlinger Straße, Bahnhofplatz, Ebertstraße, Südtangente, Starckstraße, Neureuter Straße, Siemensallee, Moltkestraße, but does not span onto these streets itself.