Government to crackdown on idling drivers

Published 06 July 2019

Drivers that leave their engines running while parked could face higher fines, under new proposals from the Department for Transport (DfT).

Local authorities already have the power to issue £20 - £80 penalties to drivers who leave their car idling for longer than a minute, but Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has now outlined plans to launch a public consultation that would allow councils to hit drivers with bigger fines.

It isn't clear how large the penalties will be, but the DfT has indicated that councils will be given new guidelines that will focus enforcement in selected areas, like schools and high streets. 

"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," said Grayling.

"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."

The DfT claims that, every minute, an idling car produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons with harmful chemicals, including cyanide, NOx and PM2.5. These microscopic pollutants can result in a range of health problems - from heart and lung disease to strokes and cancer and have been shown to be particularly damaging to children.

The Government will launch a public consultation in the coming months, that will explore higher fines and how to deal with repeat offenders who keep their engines running following several warnings.


Captain-Cretin    on 5 July 2019

They could start by actually issuing fines; I get to school early most afternoons, and Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter, it is the same diesel loving parents whose cars/MPVs/vans are left running and spewing out pollution for 30-90 minutes for no obvious reason.

Had one today, windows wound down, so cant use aircon as an excuse; gets out and looks at phone; then starts moaning the battery is 1%, so they werent charging it; so WHY leave your engine running, DIRECTLY outside the school gates for 30+ minutes??

DeadBat    on 5 July 2019

Problem will be how they plan to enforce that? Will councils have parking wardens standing outside schools and timing every single car? Will they do that by using cars with cctv?

Don't get me wrong, I'm up for issuing fines, but in my opinion it would be quite hard to do. Look how many idiots drive with illegal number plates or without road tax/insurance.

Captain-Cretin    on 8 July 2019

I get where you are coming from; a Iocal driver has been driving various generations of Freelander around on illegal black/silver number plates since the first Freelander came out.

Philip Robinson    on 6 July 2019

Try dealing with idling taxis. I counted 7 in a row the other day with their engines running. It wasn't a cold or hot day requiring heaters or air con. You'd think they would want to save fuel.

BrendanP    on 6 July 2019

Can I use the excuse that my diesel car is in the middle of active DPF regeneration, and it would be damaging to interrupt it by switching the engine off?

Dragon 999    on 9 July 2019

Good about time too, why so many just sit there waiting for someone while shopping or outside schools picking up the kids I just dont know. And if they really want to make an impact on the idiot motorist, start doing the same as they used to years ago by stopping cars with a light out! These days I can go out at dark any night of the week and see "many" cars/vans with one head light not working or a rear light out. There is no excuse these days you can pick up a bulb at any super market forecourt.
It is time for the police to start policing and come down hard on phone use, bulbs out and driving under the influence of drink/drugs. Some may think this harsh but at the end of the day we are all paying for penis heads out there.

Sulphur Man    on 9 July 2019

So this effectively ends the Mr Whippy ice cream van business. Good.

DrTeeth    on 9 July 2019

We should then ban parents from smoking around their children. That does MUCH more harm!

Captain-Cretin    on 10 July 2019

Which brings up another Policing failure; how many people have been prosecuted for smoking in a car used for business, or in a car carrying children??

In the 5(?) years since coming into law, I know of only ONE Police warning, and no fines.

andrew gad    on 22 July 2019

There's another (recent) article on this site about the fall in the number of traffic police. How is the government going to 'crackdown' when drunk driving road deaths are up and so is the number of drivers using a hand held mobile phone. "Government crackdown" - it's all a PR stunt. Nothing will come of it.

Add a comment


Value my car