Switch It Off - Campaign for Cleaner Air

20 December 2019

Switch It Off

Fenland Green Party have launched a campaign for cleaner air, aimed particularly around schools in the Fenland area.

At busy times traffic increases and so we see a increase in air pollution levels which children breathe when going to, or coming from school. This is further aggravated by people who may be waiting in their cars with the engine left running.

The toxicity of the fumes emitted by stationary vehicles left idling is far worse than traffic passing through. Therefore we are asking drivers to consider switching off their engines while they wait.

It is reported that a high concentration of traffic fumes leads to 40,000 premature deaths each year, but we also know that it can lead to asthma attacks, heart attacks and strokes. There is also long term health effects to consider.

The law is also there to protect us from the effects of idling engines. The Highway Code states in Rule 123:

"The Driver and the Environment. You MUST NOT leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road. Generally, if the vehicle is stationary and is likely to remain so for more than a couple of minutes, you should apply the parking brake and switch off the engine to reduce emissions and noise pollution. However it is permissible to leave the engine running if the vehicle is stationary in traffic or for diagnosing faults."

This refers to the law "The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986" (98 and 107).

But if public health, children's health and the law is not enough to convince people.

  • Idling wastes fuel and money.
  • Breathing the fumes is unpleasant for everyone.
  • It contributes to CO2 and therefore global warming and climate change.
  • It's anti-social.

So for everyone's sake, please switch it off!