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Anti-idling schemes introduced around schools in the UK: the back to school trend we should all get on board with

Corrine Vibert, Communications Manager, EASST
Corrine Vibert, Communications Manager, EASST
3 September 2018

As kids go back to school this week a number of schools in the UK will be issuing fines to parents or guardians found idling their engines. EASST’s Corrine Vibert writes about how we can all get on board with this trend through eco-driving.

As kids go back to school this week, new schemes set in place by no fewer than 30 councils across the UK will see fines being issued to parents or guardians found guilty of leaving their engines running outside the school gates.

Air pollution is a serious threat to our health, contributing to over 6 million premature deaths annually around the world. Air pollution especially affects children who breathe more air (relative to their weight), are lower to the ground, are more active and typically spend more time outside. Unfortunately, air pollution is also often at its highest around schools.

 

Idling your engine even just for 2 minutes uses as much fuel as driving 2km.

Turning engines off even for just a small amount of time can make a huge difference to the nitrate and CO2 levels in the atmosphere and literally save lives.

That’s why this back to school scheme is so fantastic and I would urge every school district to introduce this as a policy.

 

But what more can we do? As individual drivers? And as businesses?

As individual drivers we can start by not idling our engines. Any stop for more than a minute, and we should be turning off. But we can also learn to drive more economically. Eco-driving is smarter, fuel-efficient driving. It reduces emissions, reduces energy dependency, is safer, and saves money.

As businesses we can encourage our managers and bosses to get on board with eco-driving. Too often I see vans and company vehicles idling their engines as they stop off to make deliveries. Investing in better vehicles and training drivers to use eco-driving techniques can save companies money and reduce emissions.

 

EASST and EASST Academy have together produced two really useful guides for drivers and managers on how and why eco-driving should be part of our everyday.

Eco-driving is also discussed in lecture 7 of the EASST Academy Road Safety at Work: Online Course for Managers. Get in touch for more information.

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