Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Patience exhausted: UK drivers who sit with engines idling could face instant fines


Mattha Busby
Tue 14 May 2019 03.17 EDT

Drivers who repeatedly leave their engines running while parked could receive instant fines under proposals being considered by the government to give local authorities more power to reduce pollution.

Councils have been calling for tougher laws to help tackle idling, with officers unable to impose penalties unless drivers ignore an initial warning and remain stationary for at least another minute.


The central London borough has urged the government to allow for the punishment of companies whose drivers are repeatedly caught idling with fines of more than £1,000, saying delivery drivers and commercial vehicles were the worst offenders.
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“We need to change the way people think about engine idling,” said Westminster council leader Nickie Aiken, adding that it needlessly contributed to air pollution.

“Having spoken to more than 20,000 drivers so far, our air quality marshals found that most who idle, do so out of habit. Once they know the damage it causes, including the health risks, and they’re asked to switch off the engine, they do so and think twice before idling again. Fines should be a last resort – we prefer to ask nicely.”


According to Westminster council, an idling car produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons a minute.


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