Car restrictions resulting from dangerously high pollution levels in Paris have ceased, with levels dropping back below safe limits.

Exhaust pipe emissions

During the ban, which permitted only those with odd-numbered registration plates to use the roads from 5:30am Monday until midnight the same day, a reported total of 3859 motorists were fined 22 euro ($34) for driving when disallowed.

Overseas media reports France's ecology minister Philippe Martin thanked the people of Paris for complying with the pollution-based action, claiming the restrictions had been successful with 90 per cent of Parisians cooperating.

According to reports, Martin insisted that no 'chaos' occurred, as had been feared following a similar exercise undertaken in 1997.

Put in place following five days of unsafe levels of PM10 particulates – those emitted by vehicles, heating systems and heavy industry – the restrictions were partnered with free public transport (in place since last Friday) at a reported cost of 4 million euro per day.

At their peak, PM10 particulate levels in Paris reached 180 micrograms per cubic metre – more than double the deemed 80µg/m³ ‘safe’ limit.