Motorists in the UK could be hit with on-the-spot fines for idling in their vehicles

Local authorities turning to fines in a bid to reduce vehicle emissions, particularly outside schools

A number of local councils in the UK are introducing £20 on-the-spot fines for drivers who laying idling in their vehicle with the engine running in an effort to reduce emissions.

It’s been reported that the latest council to introduce on-the-spot fines is Nottinghamshire City Council, following Camden, Norwich, Reading, Southwark and Wirral so far this year, all hoping the measure will tackle the problem of idling.

Needlessly leaving your vehicle engine running has been an offence in the UK since 1986, with local authorities in England granted the powers to deal with the problem in 2002. Similar powers were granted to Scottish and Welsh councils the following year.

Motorists in the UK could be hit with on-the-spot fines for idling in their vehicles

Local authorities turning to fines in a bid to reduce vehicle emissions, particularly outside schools © Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Traffic wardens and police officers have the power to issue £20 on-the-spot fines to motorists caught idling unnecessarily in their vehicles, which can increase to £40 if the fine isn’t paid within 28 days.

It’s believed that over 30 councils are now using such powers, with many focusing on parents dropping off their children at the school gates; concern is growing about the long-term effects of vehicle emissions on life expectancy and it’s thought that children could be the most vulnerable.

According to a study carried out by King’s College London, they estimate that a 25% drop in nitrogen dioxide levels in the London borough of Waltham Forest would provide babies born in 2013 on average with an extra seven weeks of life.

One of the first to issue on-the-spot £20 idling fines was Westminster Council, who also encourage residents to use their website to report repeat offenders. In 2017 they authorised an increase of the fine to £80.

 

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