Drivers that leave their engines running while stationary could face harsher penalties, as the Department for Transport has announced it is intending to launch a consultation to raise the amount drivers can be fined.
At present, the fine is £20 under the under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002 and the DfT said it wants to toughen the fines “to try and put a stop to unnecessary air pollution.”
According to the DfT, every minute an idling car produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons with harmful chemicals, including cyanide, NOx and PM2.5.
We are determined to crack down on drivers who pollute our communities by leaving their engines running, particularly outside school gates where our children are breathing in this toxic air,” said transport secretary, Chris Grayling. “Putting a stop to idling is an easy way to drive down dangerously high levels of pollution, reducing its impact on the environment and our health.”
The DfT added the consultation will also provide guidance to local authorities on their anti-idling powers, enabling them to enforce the law more effectively, while it also said the consultation will also explore how to deal with repeat offenders who keep their engines running following several warnings.
Westminster Council employs ‘Air Force’ officers, who tour the London b
orough to raise awareness of air quality and encourage drivers to switch off engines when parked. Introduced to the streets in 2016, the team can also issue £20 fines to those who are caught idling.