Make engine idling illegal

I have noticed more vehicles leaving their engines running whilst parked. Apparently it is to charge mobile phones and keep air conditioning/ heaters running. This is particularly problematic at the school my daughters attend. Cars leave their engines running for up to 20 minutes! Needless to say, this is a huge risk to health and the environment. If this act was made illegal, drivers would think twice before they act in such a selfish and ignorant manner. It would also mean that schools would have the power, to enforce drivers, to switch of their engines whilst waiting to collect their children. 

Why the contribution is important

It is important to deter drivers from engine idling and this will contribute to reducing the amount of fumes going into our lungs and the environment. 

by Keasty on February 04, 2021 at 10:47PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.5
Based on: 9 votes


  • Posted by SimonLanglois February 05, 2021 at 18:03

    I think this would be a great idea!

    We live opposite a bus stop where buses often wait with their engines running when they're ahead of time. Our house is down a short sloping drive so the fumes just roll down into any open window or door. It would be so easy for them to just switch off the engine while they wait, saving fuel and saving our health. Other car, van and lorry drivers also stop in the bus stop (to use their phones) with their engines running. :-(

    The UK Highway Code states: "You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road." Unfortunately, the Jersey Highway Code doesn't include this.

    UK Drivers can face a fines of £20 - £80 for leaving the engine on while in a stationary car, and some councils have been pushing for tougher rules regarding idling. Idling could be banned outside schools and hospitals, and other areas where people are especially sensitive to air pollution.

    Time we caught up and did the same.
  • Posted by Keasty February 05, 2021 at 19:31

    Thankyou so much for your comment. Thankyou for including the UK guidance. That is really important. Unfortunately my concerns have fallen upon deaf ears with local 'professionals' not wanting to highlight the issue. No-one seems willing to help or can point me in the right direction. I have asked people to turn off their engines myself. Some do and others hurl abuse at me (which isn't very nice in the school carpark).

    How could we get, the Jersey version of, The Highway Vode to include this?

  • Posted by brucecarnegie February 07, 2021 at 14:04

    Considering that many car journeys involve sitting in traffic, additional engine idling in car parks etc really should be addressed.
  • Posted by TKHathaway February 07, 2021 at 20:49

    Personally I would say this would be practically unenforceable law, and therefore would just be an unnecessary erosion of civil liberty for a fundamentally unworkable piece of legislation.

    While there may be arguments to the harms caused by 'idling engines', it would often be a gray area as to what is considered 'idling' vs 'useful work'. For example if somebody has a diesel generator running for an extended period of time is that idling or useful work? The example of the air con, or charging of mobile phones has been presented, is this any less useful work than a diesel generator'?

    If the question is about 'necessity' (as in could you have done this in a more environmental way at a later time) how does one account for all the nuances of the circumstances of the case, for an parish or states officer to make the judgement at the time as to an individuals 'personal necessity' to issue or not issue a fine?

    Given such vagueness, this type of policy might in itself generate traffic – with people having to drive to their local parish hall to pay their fine, or people appealing decisions at a parish hall enquiry leading to peoples time and effort being taken up with processing such breaches of such a road policy. Thus diverting time and resource from other more serious law and order matters.

    Therefore I personally do not believe for the reasons stated above this is a good idea that Jersey should adopt.
  • Posted by as530 February 09, 2021 at 07:30

    Many folk idle engines in winter to defrost the car or warm it up otherwise. Or charge the car battery if they do very short commutes! I agree in some circumstances it can be annoying and anti-social, but not sure about making it unlawful. Nice idea but hopefully will become less relevant if the island can incentivise zero emission vehicles more effectively
  • Posted by TheResearcher February 09, 2021 at 18:19

    It's not a case of being anti-social or annoying, That is why it is illegal in many countries and states, and that number is growing.

    Engine idling - why it's so harmful and what's being done

    Did you know: Why leaving your car engine running in France could land you in trouble[…]idling-is-illegal-in-france


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