South Lanarkshire Council – Engine idling campaign
SLC is running a campaign which will target unnecessary engine idling around school, leisure and cultural venues.
Children are more vulnerable to air pollution because they breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults.
Engine idling occurs outside schools, leisure and cultural centres when children are dropped off and picked up and this coincides with the time children are often concentrated in these areas.
Many people idle their vehicles because they think it is better for their cars or uses less fuel. This is not the case. Here are a few simple facts:
- Restarting your engine does not use more fuel than idling
According to the Consumer Energy Centre idling for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than restarting your car.
- Idling your car is not the best way to warm your car in cold weather
The best way to warm up a car is to drive it.
- Frequent restarting is not hard on the engine and battery
Frequent restarting has little impact on engine parts like the battery and starter motor.
- Excessive idling is hard on engines
Excessive idling can damage cylinders, spark plugs and exhaust systems.
Here are a few further facts about the health and environmental effects
- An idling vehicle emits 20 times more pollution than one travelling at 30mph.
By turning off your engine you can reduce pollution
- Emissions from vehicles contribute to global warming
Vehicle emissions contain carbon which mixes with air to form carbon dioxide, a major contributor to human-caused global warming.
- Idling wastes fuel and money
Every 10 minutes of engine idling wastes at least one-tenth of a litre of fuel.
- Air pollutants from an idling engine are respiratory irritants
These pollutants can increase asthma symptoms.
- Children breathe 50% more air per pound of body weight than adults
This makes children more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.
- Children’s lungs have a lot of growing to do to reach adulthood
We need to protect those lungs as best we can during this development period.
What can you do to help?
- Walk, cycle or use public transport to travel to school/leisure/cultural venues
Leave the car behind and use more active ways to travel. Children and adults all benefit from being more physically active – use the commute to improve your health and reduce pollution.
- Park further away
Consider driving only part of the way and walking the rest. This reduces the amount of pollution particularly at drop off and pick up points.
- Turn off your engine
As a rough guide, if you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds turn off your engine.