More councils across the country are threatening to issue drivers with fines for leaving their engines idling while they’re parked up.
This week, Nottingham City Council became the latest to announce it would be issuing repeat offenders with fines of £20 if caught with their engines running.
However, figures released by some authorities that have had the powers to fine motorists for idling for up to 15 years reveal that almost none are issued.
Idle warning: Around 30 councils now threaten to issue motorists with fines of £20 if they’re caught stopped at the side of the road with their vehicle’s engine running
More councils are opting to exercise their right to slap drivers with on the spot fines for leaving their car engines running on the street in a bid to further reduce emissions levels in their areas.
Streets close to schools in particular are being targeted as well as hospitals.
In some areas, members of the public are being asked to report inconsiderate drivers who are caught in the act by providing their vehicle information, including the registration number.
It’s part of increased efforts across the country, with Nottingham joining the likes of Norwich, Wirral, Reading and a number of London boroughs that have started issuing the penalties in the last eight months, according to the Times.
It is believed that more than 30 councils now have rules in place to fine the drivers of idling vehicles, according to The Times.
Westminster City Council became one of the first to threaten drivers with fines for leaving their vehicle engines running and even quadrupled the charge to £80 last year as part of its #DontBeIdle campaign.
The London borough, along with Camden, is employing ‘Air Marshals’ who patrol the streets, targeting delivery drivers, taxis and members of the public who fail to turn their engines off.
The council claims that air marshals will ask drivers who are pulled up but not in traffic to turn their engine off and if they refuse to do so they will be fined.
Westminster Council increased its efforts to curb engine idling last year, quadrupling the fine to £80 in an effort to reduce the number of people leaving their vehicles running
Nottingham City Council became the latest to introduce fines this week. It joins a host of other authorities looking to reduce vehicle emissions in their areas
However, figures revealed earlier this year suggest that not many penalties are being handed out.
In March, London Live said Westminster council had issued just 28 fines in the last 12 months.
The City of London, which has had rules in place to fine drivers for idling for seven years hasn’t handed out a single one.
Stats revealed earlier this year suggest hardly any fines are being issued for idling in London
And Kensington and Chelsea City council – which has had the powers for 15 years – has penalised just one motorist for leaving their engine running.
It raises questions about whether idling can be appropriately policed by councils and if drivers are being deterred by these rules.
RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes,backed the news that more councils are making efforts to curb idling motorists.
‘Measures like this can play a big part in changing driver behaviour, by encouraging them to really think about how they reduce their emissions footprint,’ he said.
‘If schemes like this can make enough of a difference in reducing emissions, there may be less of a temptation for local authorities to implement wider charging schemes for drivers.
‘Our advice to drivers is always to switch their engine off when parked or stationary for lengthy periods. If a vehicle has stop-start technology, it should always be enabled.’
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