2. Vehicle idling penalties

Idling vehicles parked on roads are contributing to the air pollution problems.

Under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (England) Regulations 2002, local authorities may enforce powers to deal with idling vehicles.

Drivers who refuse to turn off the engine of a vehicle running unnecessarily could be issued with a fixed penalty ticket. This includes buses and taxis idling on stands. The driver of the vehicle has to pay this penalty, not the owner or company which operates the vehicle.

Drivers will not be penalised in cases where common sense dictates that the engine needs to be running, eg:

  • Where a vehicle is stationary at traffic lights or in a traffic jam
  • Where a vehicle is broken down and the engine is being run to find a defect
  • Where an engine is needed to refrigerate fresh goods or run a compactor on a refuse vehicle
  • Any other situations that may be considered acceptable (e.g. defrosting a windscreen or cooling down on a hot day for a few minutes)