Not so long ago there were incentives to buy diesel cars due to the positive impact on the environment: greenhouse gases were the big thing but the particulates from diesel engines are now regarded as being worse. No doubt, as technology improves, and diesel engines become more efficient, the pendulum will swing the other way.
One thing that nobody can change their mind about is that fumes from cars cause major health problems. What I find absolutely amazing is the number of parents who leave their car engines idling whilst waiting to drop off little Johnny or pick up Olivia. Imagine sitting in an enclosed area with your engine idling. Let’s take it one stage further and imagine that you have young children in the car with you.
You might think that that was simply nuts but if you walk around, especially in proximity to schools, how many parents sit there with their engines idling? And when challenged,
“I was cold.”
“I was hot”
“I was listening to the radio.”
Do you ever hear, “I was trying to increase the level of noxious fumes so that the school children in this area could develop even more respiratory problems?”
Research suggests that young children are being exposed to almost a third more toxic car fumes than their parents and, because of they are still developing they are at greater risk than adults.
A simple solution for parents would be to walk or cycle their children to school, away from the traffic, thereby reducing their exposure to unnecessarily high levels of damaging air pollution. It is recognised that, for many, even if they had the will, this is impractical.
It is not impractical, though, to switch your engine off when waiting outside of schools.
Sadly, even though there has been recognition of the problem, and more and more councils across the UK are threatening to hit drivers with fines if they leave their engines running while parked, there has been little evidence of enforcement.
Recent figures released by some local authorities show that, despite having being able to dish out fines to idling motorists, few have actually been issued.
It is estimated that around 30 local authorities in total now have rules in place to target idling drivers, with most handing out on-the-spot fines particularly around sensitive areas like schools and hospitals.
- Westminster City Council fines motorists £80 for leaving their engines running, but figures show they have dished out just 28 fines over the last 12 months.
- Neighbouring authority Kensington and Chelsea has proved to be even less effective at targeting culprits, penalising just one solitary motorist during the 15 years since the fines have been in place.
Surely, therefore, the solution lies with the schools and the responsible parents. A note from your local school setting out some guidelines would go a long way as would responsible parents helping complete the education of those others who fail to recognise the effect of noxious fumes on all children – including yours.
Please take the initiative and let others worry about whether diesel or petrol engines are better or worse!
We would be interested to hear your views on this topic especially from those who live within our primary customer area. We serve a fairly wide area from Farnham including Tilford, Frensham, Churt, Headley, Headley Down, Lindford, Bordon, Kingsely, Alton, Crondall, Church Crookham, Fleet, Aldershot, Farnborough, Camberley. There are a lot of schools in this area!
Telephone: 01252 217087 [email protected]