The majority of drivers want local councils to clamp down on engine idling. That’s according to a new survey…
Calls For Action
The majority of drivers want local councils to tackle the practice of engine idling. This is where cars come to a stop, but drivers leave their engines on; causing a build-up of harmful emissions in often vulnerable places like schools and hospitals. The RAC surveyed 2,130 drivers and discovered that seven in ten (72%) agreed that more action should be taken. 44% of those in favour of a crackdown said officials should have the power to ask drivers to turn their engines off; fining them if they fail to comply. According to the motoring association, just a handful of councils currently hand out the allowed £20 fines.
Two out of five of the surveyed drivers (40%) said they regularly witness engine idling. A further 26% said they had observed it outside of schools. More than half said they were more concerned by the environmental effects of the habit than three years ago.
One of the primary problems identified by the RAC is the fact that councils aren’t making use of the powers they already have. Nicholas Lyes, the RAC’s head of road policy, described enforcement as “non-existent”. He explained, “you could liken the current situation with engine idling to that of taking your own carrier bags to the supermarket: everyone knew it was the right thing to do, but few of us did it until a compulsory charge was introduced”.
Back in June, the Depart of Transport announced that it’d launch a public consultation into raising fines for engine idling. David Renard, a Local Government Association transport spokesman, has suggested that education may be more effective than fines. He said, “although fines to drivers who leave their engines idling are issued as a last resort, the legislation to enable this is hard to enforce in practice”. Councils have prioritised changing behaviour by educating motorists, which is often more effective than issuing fines”. He added, “as part of their review of air quality legislation, the Government should look again at whether these powers are working how they intended and whether they could be made simpler to use while still being fair to the motorist”.
‘Four Figures Fines’ Pitched For Engine Idling Fleets – https://www.autoservefleet.co.uk/latest-news/four-figure-fines-pitched-engine-idling/
What Are Clean Air Zones? – https://autoserve.co.uk/motoring-tips-advice/what-are-clean-air-zones/