: Earlier today the Milan municipal government banned all traffic for the next three days between 10am and 4pm because of consistently poor air quality. It is the most drastic step yet by an Italian city to combat smog; Rome has issued a similar ban for odd-numbered registration plates scheduled for Monday and even-numbered plates for Tuesday. The poor air quality is a result of an unseasonably warm, dry winter and changes in high wind patterns. Many parts of the country have not had rain for 50 days. Italy has the worst air quality and the most air-pollution-related deaths
of any EU country, according to the European Environment Agency; it is not, however, as bad as China
. The newspaper La Repubblica
reports that drivers in Milan who break the ban will face fines from €163 ($179) to €658.