Just one in every 1,000 Central London drivers fined for idling their engines

Just one in every 1,000 Central London drivers fined for idling their engines
Data released under a Freedom of Information (FoI) request has revealed that just one in every 1,000 drivers reported for unnecessary idling of their vehicle’s engine were actually fined in Central London.

According to a report by Imperial College London that studied the impact air pollution is having on the capital, up to 4,100 people have died as a result of harmful gases emitted from idling vehicles.

Another study from The Royal College of Physicians estimated that around 40,000 deaths a year in the UK are linked to air pollution, with engine idling a contributing factor to this.

Since 2017, Westminster Council has received more than 70,000 reports of idling drivers via its ‘Report It’ website, but only 63 fines were issued to drivers – with only half of them even paying the £80 fine.

On Friday, London Mayor Sadiq Khan announced plans to expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) to cover the whole of the capital by the end of 2023.
Khan said there is ‘still far too much toxic air pollution permanently damaging the lungs of young Londoners and leading to thousands of deaths every year’.

The announcement is expected to result in cutting the number of polluting cars on the roads in London by up to 40,000 a day.


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What does the law say?

According to the Highway Code, rule 123 states that a driver must not unnecessarily leave a vehicle running while it is stationary on a public road.

The rule also states that a driver must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running.

Impact of idling

Idling increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air from your vehicle. These fumes contain a number of harmful gasses including carbon dioxide, as well as a range of others harmful gasses including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.

These all contribute to climate change – but also have a severe impact on people’s health.

A recent study for The Future of Transport revealed that ‘an idling car can fill up to 150 balloons with harmful exhaust emissions every minute’.

Leaving your vehicle idle can also negatively impact your engine. Looking after your vehicle can help keep your car in perfect condition. Visit the RAC Car Care hub for more details.

The Government is working on addressing the issue, but what else can be done to tackle air pollution and idling vehicles? Leave a comment below.

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