Renfrewshire Council

Exhaust fumes

Idling

Switch off your engine. Do your bit and make Renfrewshire greener.

Running your engine unnecessarily while your vehicle is stationary:

  • pollutes the environment
  • costs you money, and
  • is illegal.

Idling facts

  • An idling engine produces up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion.
  • Exhaust emissions contain a range of air pollutants such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, hydrocarbons and particulates.
  • 62% of people with asthma report that traffic fumes worsen the effects of their asthma.
  • Every 10 minutes of vehicle idling costs at least one-tenth of a litre in wasted fuel.

As a rough guide, if you are going to be parked for more than 30 seconds, turn off your engine and restart when you are ready to move on. Whenever possible, leave your vehicle at home.

Fixed penalty fines

Unnecessary vehicle idling is an offence under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) (Fixed Penalty) (Scotland) Regulations 2003. 

It is a continuing offence, which means if you fail to turn your engine off after being spoken to you may be issued with a £20 fixed penalty notice. 

The legislation covers all vehicles on public roads including buses, taxis and private cars.

The legislation does not apply to:

  • vehicles moving slowly due to road works or congestion
  • vehicles stopped at traffic lights
  • vehicles under test/repair, or
  • vehicles defrosting a windscreen in very cold weather.

Routine patrols are being carried out by Renfrewshire Wardens who will issue a warning to any driver found to be idling their vehicle unnecessarily.

All operators of public transport within Renfrewshire have been contacted and reminded of their responsibility to ensure that their drivers do not allow their vehicles to idle unnecessarily.

The Environmental Protection UK website offers further advice and guidance on this subject.

The 'Keep Scotland Tidy' campaign has produced a number of leaflets which offer further advice and guidance on various related subjects that you can download.

Don't be an idler - switch off your engine and 'Do Your Bit' to make Renfrewshire greener.

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