Outbox – Barriers are back

Outbox - Barriers are back

A typical Thursday in March, crawling on the sofa in front of the TV is the only activity you can think of. Suddenly my smartphone goes off. A WhatsApp call from a good friend who lives about 1000 km south. Awesome, it’s been a while. But soon disappointment comes. She cries and is completely upset. She announces that she will get a divorce, the decision has been made. We decided to drive to her. Isn’t that what a car is? To be able to travel hundreds of kilometers on a whim to help your loved ones in need?

But then things get more complicated. At this time of year, some of the French sections that we have to go through have recently become mandatory winter tyres. We also need to get a Crit’Air poster for Strasbourg, or in case of a spike in pollution on the way back. Oh yeah, and don’t forget the vignette for Switzerland and the cost in France and Italy. Do we also have a file Finestaupalket it is necessary? No, probably not, because we will avoid Germany and Freiburg im Breisgau. why all that? Because nowadays it is enough to drive away from the highway or end up on a city ring road to encounter a low-emissions area.

Due to vehicle restrictions, border barriers have been replaced with ANPR cameras and environmental posters.

Fortunately, the test car that was in front of the door at the time had winter tires. All we have to do is order the French ecovignette online and print the invoice as proof (the label itself will fall into the letter box when the car actually returns to the importer). As for the Swiss vignette, it is better to buy it for 39-40 euros near the Franco-Swiss border, and not for 44 euros at a service station along the Belgian motorway. The international electronic tariff box is connected to the car and this is very inconvenient. Hence we are fortunate that the vehicle in service is not electric with a limited range; But a mild hybrid.

Fortunately I’m fairly used to all of these things because of my job. However, this may not have been the case for Jan in the cap. A formality is quickly forgotten, especially if you leave in a hurry. And then we didn’t even need a PCR test, although you still have to show your Covid Safe ticket everywhere for now. The European Union and the Schengen area, as promised, will facilitate travel across the continent. But this was before. Due to car restrictions, border barriers have been replaced with ANPR cameras and environmental posters. The lack of minimal standardization of traffic rules means that you have to check each country’s requirements to enter a city (with Italian ZTLs being the biggest risk of all). Also, where and how you have to pay the fee and what equipment you should have (tyres, warning triangle, first aid kit), you have to decide all yourself. A waste of time, due to the lack of dialogue and political intelligence at the expense of our movement. And not just by car…

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