Restrictions for Motorcycles in Central Tehran

Restrictions for Motorcycles in Central Tehran Restrictions for Motorcycles in Central Tehran

In a renewed effort to remove polluting motorcycles into restricted traffic zones in central Tehran, a new scheme requires the two-wheelers to register online for a permit to enter the designated zones.

As per traffic rules in the overcrowded capital, private cars are prohibited from  entering the central areas, where air quality is poor, unless drivers, including taxis and pickups, have  special permits.

In the less polluted areas the odd-even traffic scheme is in place for years – it  allows entry to private cars based on the odd/even last digit of the license plates. Saturday is earmarked for cars with the last even digit. Friday, being the weekend is not included in the scheme.

Despite causing eight times the pollution of cars, motorcycles were exempt from these rules until July 23, when Mostafa Qanbarnejad, head of Tehran Municipality’s Traffic Permit Office, said owners of motorbikes should register for permits online at

The portal will be open until August 6. The scheme has drawn mixed responses , but most agree that it was a long time coming.

Parvaneh Salahshouri, a lawmaker from Tehran, told the official parliament website ICANA that the main aim of the plan should be to “manage the commute of motorcycles in traffic zones, not make money for the municipality.”

She said officials need to exercise extra caution because “70% of the motor bikers use their vehicle to make a living.”

On Sunday, Abolfazl Qana’ati, senior member of Tehran City Council, declared the scheme “to be illegal”, saying the municipality should have first sent the plan to the city council for approval and announce it later, Mehr News Agency reported.

There are 3.5 million motorcycles plying Tehran’s polluted streets, most of which are dilapidated and crisscross the restricted traffic zones with total disregard for the law and pedestrians.

As traffic congestions slow the movement of cars and taxis to a considerable degree, motorcycles have become popular, including as taxis in the downtown areas.  The high and rising number of motorcycles, their flouting of traffic regulations and terrible pollution power have made the presence of two-wheelers a nightmare for the capital’s residents.

Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints