The majority of motorists would like councils take action against drivers who leave engines running while parked, according to research conducted by the RAC.

According to the breakdown giant’s poll of 2,130 drivers, 72% supported this position, while 44% said officials should tell them to switch off and then fine them if they refuse.

While councils already have the power to take action against drivers who idle their vehicles while parked in the form a £20 fine, only a few choose to enforce this.

The RAC said 88% of respondents said they see drivers parked at the side of a road or street with their engines still running. This consisted of 40% who regularly witness this and 48% who see it occasionally, while 7% claim not to have seen drivers doing this and 5% weren’t sure.

Exhaust Pollution

More than half of those surveyed (55%) say they are more concerned about the impact that vehicle emissions have on the environment and public health than they were three years and 41% said their level of concern was unchanged and only 4% said they were less concerned, th RAC added.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “It is clear from our research that the vast majority of drivers are far more aware of the impact of vehicle emissions than they were three years ago. They are conscious of pollution from parked vehicles running their engines needlessly to the point they want to see local councils taking some form of action against those who do this. At the very least they would like a council official to speak to those who do it and ask them to switch off.

“Councils already have the powers to deal with this problem, but few are currently doing so. Many of the drivers we questioned would like to see some firm action taken against offenders. This is no doubt needed to bring about a change in behaviour.”