UK drivers could soon be fined for leaving their engine to run while parking. The offence otherwise known as engine idling will now result in a motorist being fined heavily under new plans which are supported by Environment Secretary Michael Gove, The Times reports. Proposals are being considered to allow councils greater power to clampdown on engine idling offences. The reason for the proposals is to reduce pollution from engines that idle.
Cars choke out emissions from their exhaust pipe when left to run while parked. These emissions could not only be harmful to the environment but also to pedestrians.
Certain pollutants such as nitrogen oxides (NOX) can cause respiratory diseases and heart problems.
Under current rules, drivers can be fiend between £20 and £80 if they leave their engine to idle for at least a minute.
However, it is an offence that is not heavily enforced which means a lot of motorists may not be aware that they can be fined for it.
Nickie Aiken, Westminster’s Conservative leader told The Times: “Fines are our last resort – but when we establish a pattern of persistent idling, we need to be able to send a message.”
A Department for Transport spokesperson added: “We are determined to reduce the damaging environmental impacts of drivers who keep their engines running while stationary, especially those in school zones.
“This is why we are making guidance for local authorities clearer, so that they know how and when to target drivers falling foul of the law.
“We will be polling local authorities to understand how any potential review of these powers may look in the future.”