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Government gets tough on vehicle idling

The Government is pushing ahead with plans to increase fines on drivers leaving engines idling while parked – with a consultation due to launch soon.

Engine idling contributes to poor air pollution which each year is linked to an estimated 40,000 early deaths

The new anti-idling plans would represent the biggest change to the rules since 2002

The move – reported this spring – would toughen up council powers to crack down on idling drivers. Under current measures, police officers can issue a fine if a driver ignores a warning and continues to idle for at least a minute; fines stand at £20 or £80 depending on which regulations the authority uses to enforce the law. However, many authorities are not making use of the regulations.

Now, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has said intends to launch a public consultation, possibly this summer, looking at increasing fines for idling drivers and dealing with repeat offenders; according to reports, such drivers could be fined up to £1,000.

These plans – said to represent the biggest change to the rules since 2002 – will also provide guidance to local authorities on their anti-idling powers, enabling them to enforce the law more effectively.

Grayling said: “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.

“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.”

Recent data from Airmax Remote found high numbers of business fleet vehicles have been seen idling, particularly during the winter and summer months of 2018, leading to increased fuel consumption and damaging air quality.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.