Drivers fined for 'air pollution'

Motorists could receive a £20 fixed penalty fine for leaving their engines running unnecessarily under a new scheme designed to cut pollution.

The penalty for drivers who fail to switch off their engines when they are at a standstill is being investigated by West Sussex County Council.

Officials said they were seeking additional powers to prevent unnecessary idling of engines and one idea was to issue fines to drivers who refuse to turn their engines off.

Such fines could be introduced by traffic wardens in Shoreham where there are two air quality management areas, in the High Street and the A270.

The scheme, if successful, may be applied across the country in other urban areas where exhaust fumes are linked to a deterioration in air quality, including town centres and at railway crossings.

A county council spokesman said: "We would stress that this is just an investigation at this stage. If it was ever introduced, the fixed penalty would probably be £20.

"Air pollution is a particularly important health issue for our residents, particularly those with asthma, lung and heart conditions."

He said there would be exemptions for vehicles, like lorries with freezer units, that have to keep their engines running.

Copyright © PA Business 2008

(RAC Traffic news)

(West Sussex County Council)