Just One In A Thousand Drivers Fined For Idling Their Engines In London

A new Freedom of Information request has discovered that just one in a thousand drivers are fined for idling their engines in London…

Idling Engines with Impunity?

Engine idling consists of leaving a vehicle’s engine running, needlessly, when it’s idle. It has serious environmental and health-related consequences. However, a new Freedom of Information request (FOI) has revealed that measures against the phenomenon are rarely being used. For instance, just one in a thousand drivers are being issued fines in London for idling their cars’ engines. Meaning that the vast majority of offenders are getting away with it.

A report issued by Imperial College London has suggested that 4,100 people have died in the capital as a result of harmful gasses being released by vehicles. A separate study conducted by Imperial College London found that 40,000 deaths a year in the UK can be linked to air pollution.

Since 2017, Westminster Council has made it possible to report on drivers who idle their engines. Of 70,000 reports, just 63 led to fines being issued. Moreover, only half of these paid the £80 fine.

The Environmental Cost

Engine idling produces a number of harmful emissions, including carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and hydrocarbons. All of these have been directly linked to climate change. However, they also have a number of serious health effects on people who are continually exposed to them. One study found that an idling vehicle can fill 150 balloons with harmful emissions every minute. Many drivers idle in sensitive areas, too – such as at schools or hospitals.

Naturally, idling an engine can also waste significant amounts of fuel; something that’s especially likely to hurt now that fuel prices are soaring. It can also damage a car’s engine.

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