It’s against the law to idle an engine whilst parked but only an authorised council officer can issue a fine and only if they personally witness the idling offence, the driver refuses to switch off their engine and the officer has waited two minutes for them to comply or drive away.
A driver can return to the same spot every day and idle for as long as they like and a council officer has to attend every day to ask them to switch off their engine. A huge amount of time and resource is used to speak to drivers but no revenue is generated, so over time there’s less resource allocated and drivers continue idling. Last year, zero fines were issued in Wandsworth, Camden, Reading, Norwich and only 4 fines have been issued in Scotland over the last five years.
The result is that motorists idle their vehicle engines everywhere with impunity, next to babies and children outside schools, nurseries and playgrounds and next to vulnerable adults outside GP surgeries, care homes and hospitals, forcing everyone to breathe toxic engine exhaust known to stunt lung growth, cause cancer and shorten lives.
It doesn’t have to be this way. There is a simple solution.
The first time a motorist is caught idling, their vehicle registration details should be recorded and the owner provided with information on the damage idling causes to health & the environment with a warning that an instant fine will be issued if they are caught idling again.
To ensure the case against the vehicle owner is as strong as possible, video evidence should be used via a mobile phone App (TimeStamp) which provides date, time and location. The council officer captures the vehicle registration, the evidence of idling (engine sound/vehicle exhaust) and films for the agreed amount of time (10 – 30 seconds).
We’ve been campaigning for new idling law since the beginning of the last year and have just over 1,000 signatures but we need 100,000 signatures for Parliament to debate new idling law. Wil you help protect those least responsible from the toxic air they are being forced to breathe? Please sign and share our #NO2idling petition: https://www.change.org/p/uk-parliament-stop-vehicles-idling-near-babies-and-children-3bf5ee0d-9b72-489c-a172-0d8f3ed37888
The short clip below is from a podcast with Miranda Dixon and Sarah Holliday which will be available soon.