Parents may be handed £100 fines for leaving car idling outside school
Parents could be handed £100 on-the-spot fines if they leave their car running outside the school gates
- Transport Secretary Chris Grayling vowed to get tough on motorists leaving their engines ‘idling’ while parked
- Move is being hailed as way of reducing pollution as idling engines can produce more pollution than cars on the move
- Drivers are already liable for fines starting at £20 if they refuse to turn off a motor when asked
Parents could be handed on-the-spot fines of £100 if they leave their car engine running outside the school gates.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling vowed to get tough on motorists leaving their engines ‘idling’ while parked – including parents dropping off or picking up their children at school.
The move is being hailed as a way of reducing pollution as idling engines can produce more pollution than cars on the move.
Drivers are already liable for fines starting at £20 if they refuse to turn off a motor when asked. But officials are understood to be looking at increasing the penalty to as much as £100 for ordinary motorists.
Parents could be handed on-the-spot fines of £100 if they leave their car engine running outside the school gates. (File image)
Drivers of vans and bigger vehicles seen as more polluting than cars could be hit by even bigger instant fines.
Ministers are also set to put pressure on councils to impose fines amid concerns that too many town halls currently do not bother.
Mr Grayling’s intervention comes a month after Environment Secretary Michael Gove backed calls for local authorities to be able to impose fines without first warning drivers.
Launching a public consultation yesterday, Mr Grayling said: ‘We are determined to crack down on drivers who pollute our communities by leaving their engines running, particularly outside school gates where our children are breathing in this toxic air.
‘Putting a stop to idling is an easy way to drive down dangerously high levels of pollution, reducing its impact on the environment and our health.’
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling (above) vowed to get tough on motorists leaving their engines ‘idling’ while parked – including parents dropping off or picking up their children at school
Vehicle idling is considered to be a major factor in poor air quality, particularly in areas with large numbers of waiting vehicles, such as at taxi ranks, bus stations and outside schools.
Mr Grayling’s officials said poor air quality was the biggest environmental risk to public health in the UK.
Every minute, an idling car produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons with harmful chemicals, including cyanide and nitrogen oxides.
The microscopic pollutants are blamed for a range of health problems, from heart and lung disease to strokes and cancer, and have been shown to be particularly damaging to children.
Local authorities already have the power to fine motorists who leave their engines running, with penalties of £20 or £80 depending on which regulations they invoke.
However, Transport Department officials said the new plans would enable town halls to enforce the law more effectively and ‘put a stop to unnecessary air pollution’.
The consultation will also explore how to deal with repeat offenders who keep their engines running after several warnings.
The proposals are billed as the latest move in the Government’s drive to improve air quality, measures which have included grants to encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles and a pledge to end the sale of new conventional diesel and petrol cars and vans by 2040.
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