New powers, which will help to improve air quality and contribute to reducing the impact of climate change, are set to be introduced in Highland Perthshire next month.From Wednesday, 1st of March, it will be an offence to leave your motor vehicle idling whilst in Perth and Kinross.
The anti-idling policy has been brought in to inform road users of the harm that can be caused to the environment and human health when a vehicle is left stationary with the engine running. Although council parking attendants will be carrying out monitoring across Perth and Kinross, they will be focusing particularly on the Air Quality Management Areas in Perth city centre and at Crieff High Street.
Perth and Kinross Council’s Environment, Infrastructure and Economic Development Convenor, Councillor Andrew Parrott, said: “The introduction of our anti-idling policy is about improving air quality and reducing harmful emissions locally, not about penalising drivers and I really hope we do not have to issue many Fixed Penalty Notices. Taking that very small step and switching off when your vehicle’s stopped, whether this is a car, van, lorry or bus, contributes to cleaner air for everyone and can also save motorists money.”
It is reported that by leaving a vehicle idling for 10 seconds, the car will burn more C02 and fuel than if the car was to be turned off and restarted. Vehicle idling is already a traffic offence under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (Scotland) Regulations 2003. More than half of council areas across the country have already brought in measures to encourage drivers to switch off their engines when stopped.
Climate Change and Sustainability Convenor, Councillor Richard Watters, said: “We can all do our bit to help ‘ease the wheeze’ and make a positive choice for our environment. The approach we are taking is to educate the driving public and encourage them to switch off when they’re stationary.”
Perth and Kinross Council staff will follow the ‘Four E’s’ when reminding drivers to switch off their engines while stationary. The E’s stand for Engage, Explain, Encourage, and Enforce. Although idling will be permitted in some circumstances such as when defrosting an icy windscreen or when trying to keep the vehicles occupants warm on a very cold day, officers will ask people to switch off their engines and explain why it is harmful to leave their vehicles running. If the driver is not compliant, a fixed penalty of £20 will be issued.
If you are being affected by excessive vehicle idling on public roads, you can report the issue to EH@pkc.gov.uk and environmental health officers will investigate the issue.
Further information on the anti-idling policy will be available soon at www.pkc.gov.uk.