A council has written to over 50 schools in the borough to ask for their support to educate parents around the dangers of idling vehicles, particularly during the “school run”.
Idling vehicles, where a vehicle is stationary but still has the engine running, release harmful pollutants into the air which can have a negative impact on the environment as well as public health.
Children are particularly at risk because they have smaller lungs and breathe more rapidly as well as spending more time outdoors.
Studies have also shown that exposure to air pollution can lead to respiratory problems, such as asthma, coughs, bronchitis and other health issues.
Schools are being asked for their support to educate parents on the importance of turning off their engines when parked, whether they are waiting to pick up or drop off their children, or parked near the school.
The measures support the council’s Air Quality Action Plan as well as the council’s pledge to become net zero carbon by 2030.
Last year, the council introduced Anti-Idling legislation across Gedling Borough, which states drivers can be issued a £20 fixed penalty notice (FPN), increasing to £40 it not paid within 28 days. The legislation does not apply to drivers in stationary or slow moving traffic.
Drivers will not be fined without warning, however those who refuse to turn off their engine when asked by council officers, could find themselves issued with a notice.
Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said:
“Air pollution is a serious issue, and one that we all play a part in tackling. It affects not only our health but the environment and climate too.
One area of concern of where drivers are often found to be idling is around our schools, but by raising awareness of this specific issue, together we can make a real difference.
We’re asking for the support of our local schools, to work with us and help educate parents on the dangers caused by idling cars, and encourage them to change their habits for the health of their children and the community”
Gedling Borough Council Climate Change Officer, Sim Duhra said:
“It’s so important to reduce emissions from idling cars near schools. These emissions can cause serious harm to our health, especially for children, as well as contributing towards climate change.
Turning off your engine while waiting near schools is such a simple thing to do, but it can help protect our children and the planet.
If your school is learning about climate change or the environment, get in touch to find out more about what support we can offer. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org”