AN urgent warning has been issued to school run parents over a little-known driving law that could land you with a fine at pick-up.
Motorists who are caught idling when pulling up outside schools can be handed a penalty charge notice of £20 – rising to £40 if not paid quickly.
Local councils may add an additional fine on top of this.
In London, for example, emission measures will escalate this fine to £80.
And you could get taken to court if the offence is deemed to be serious enough.
Research from the RAC found that over a quarter (26%) of motorists caught out for idling were spotted outside school buildings.
As more consideration is made around the impact of cars on the environment, the rule is intended to reduce unnecessary vehicle emissions.
RAC roads policy spokesman Nicholas Lyes said: “Whether it is outside schools, picking up relatives from stations, or in a car park, we can all do our bit by switching off our engines and reducing our emissions.”
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Every minute, an idling car produces enough exhaust emissions to fill 150 balloons with dangerous chemicals including cyanide.
These can trigger health problems, from heart and lung disease to strokes and cancer, and are particularly damaging to children.
The Government has announced several moves to improve air quality.
They include grants to encourage the purchase of cleaner vehicles, a commitment to end the sale of conventional diesel and petrol vehicles by 2040 and the doubling of investment in cycling and walking routes since 2010.
Andrew Marshall of CarMoney said: “Now more than ever it is important to be aware of our impact on the environment.
“By minimising car idling on our daily commutes, school drop-offs and simply waiting in traffic, we can contribute less CO2 emissions.
“Aside from switching to electric vehicles or hybrid car models, motorists can be more mindful of their idling habits by switching off their engine if waiting for long periods of time.”