Drivers threatened with fines if they leave engines running

Drivers threatened with fines if they leave engines running
More and more councils across the UK are threatening to hit drivers with fines if they leave their engines running while parked.

Nottingham City Council has become the latest local authority to announce plans to hit drivers with £20 fines if they’re caught repeatedly leaving their engines idling.

The RAC has backed the move, claiming it could play a big part in getting drivers to change their behaviour and help reduce vehicle emissions in our towns and cities.

But recent figures released by some local authorities show that, despite having being able to dish out fines to idling motorists, few have actually been issued.

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The announcement by Nottingham City Council follows similar moves by authorities in Norwich, Reading and London, which each began issuing penalties at the start of 2018.

It is estimated that around 30 local authorities in total now have rules in place to target idling drivers, with most handing out on-the-spot fines particularly around sensitive areas like schools and hospitals.

Westminster City Council fines motorists £80 for leaving their engines running, but figures show they have dished out just 28 fines over the last 12 months.

Neighbouring authority Kensington and Chelsea has proved to be even less effective at targeting culprits, penalising just one solitary motorist during the 15 years since the fines have been in place.  

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RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, welcomed the move to target idling engines, reiterating the organisation’s commitment to battling air pollution.

He said: “Measures like this can play a big part in changing driver behaviour, by encouraging them to really think about how they reduce their emissions footprint.

“If schemes like this can make enough of a difference in reducing emissions, there may be less of a temptation for local authorities to implement wider charging schemes for drivers.”

Mr Lyes advises drivers to switch off their engines whenever they are parked or stationary for long periods of time, such as when picking up children from school.

In addition, he also advised: “If a vehicle has stop-start technology, it should always be enabled.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.