Why Not Switch Off the Engine When Parked?

Britons have become so used to stupid, petty By-laws in their communities that when a sensible one comes along they are still up in arms! The North Lincolnshire Council wants to start fining drivers £20 if they leave their engines running when parked for long periods. Sounds perfectly reasonable to me!

Don't Breath Too Deeply!

I am surprised that so many drivers are yelling their heads off about this, accusing the council of creating a ‘money-making scam’. The measure is in fact a response to government Air Quality Targets for Britain’s towns and cities imposed by Whitehall. Other councils are considering whether or not to introduce similar measures.

If it were possible to calculate how many vehicles are needlessly pumping out toxic gases that are known to damage the environment, I think the figures would astound us all. It would probably not impress the British motorist however, for a poll conducted by The Telegraph shows 77% are against the idea of being made to switch off. Surprise! Surprise!

Coach Park

Near where I live there is a hotel which every day has up to half a dozen coaches parked outside for between thirty and forty minutes at a time. During this period, more than half of them leave their engines running. To what purpose?

Mothers take their offspring to school every day and some are parked outside the school for five minutes while they chat, and most leave their engines running. Why? During this period the vehicles are pumping out noxious fumes that are not only a major health hazard, but are causing environmental damage as well. Is it such a hardship to turn off the ignition while parked for several minutes?

The air quality in most towns and cities world-wide has reached the stage where to get a breath of clean air you have to go to the countryside, but with a little common sense we could all help to improve it.

We have at this time huge debate over climate change and the affect we humans have on the world climate. Significant changes in weather patterns have been registered all over the world in the last decade, many with catastrophic results, and we all complain about this, but few are willing to do a simple thing like turn of the engine when parked.

London Smog

I cannot deny that such a measure would be a drop in the ocean compared to the rest of the pollution being pumped into our atmosphere, but surely, every little bit helps. Imagine the impact if everyone the world over acted more responsibly with this issue. World-wide, I bet the figure could be near a million cubic tons of exhaust gases per week that we unnecessarily pump into the environment.

Look around you as you walk through a superstore car park or past a school, and see how many people enjoy wasting fuel needlessly through laziness or just plain stupidity. Being more prudent would also help in your pocket, because not only are you damaging the environment, but you are burning petrol wastefully. People think the cost in fuel is negligible but if you think about it, ten minutes a day for 365 days can add up to quite a few gallons.

The Future?

Despite the arguments raging in scientific circles, there can be little doubt that the arrival of the combustion engine and the industrial revolution has done much to change our world. Every year sees an increase in global disasters caused by ever worsening weather patterns and there is little we can do to stop it, for now. But we can perhaps ensure things do not get any worse, and quite possibly shorten the time it takes the world to recover from our intervention, but we have to work together to do this.

Even a small thing like shutting off your engine when parked can, in time, have a significant impact on lessening the effects of climate change. At least it’s a start in the right direction, so how about less anger and a little more co-operation.

You know it makes sense!

Roy.


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