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Rome and Milan adopt emergency measures to combat air pollition

Rome and Milan have announced driving restrictions in response to air pollution that has engulfed both cities. Pollution has been at a high level for weeks, forcing officials to resort to drastic measures.

Officials in Rome and Milan, two of Italy's largest cities, announced restrictions on cars in an effort to mitigate the high levels of air pollution that have been plaguing their communities this holiday season.

Warm weather without rain has exacerbated the situation, with both cities registering dangerously high levels of micro particles in the air.

Officials in Rome said only certain cars would be allowed on the roads the next two days: those with odd-numbered final digits on their license plates can drive on Monday, while those with even-numbered last digits can drive on Tuesday.

In Milan, authorities went a step further, ordering a near-total traffic ban from Monday to Wednesday.

Some low-emissions vehicles are exempt from the restrictions - public transport ticket prices were reduced in both cities for the duration of the limitations.

In addition to the driving restrictions, Rome has also placed restrictions on home heating, which is partially responsible for the pollution as well.

blc/msh (AP, Reuters, dpa)

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