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Drivers - ‘Turn it off’ if you are stopped for a minute or more

on Wed, 03/07/2019 - 12:46pm

Just one minute of sitting with your car engine running and the vehicle not moving produces the equivalent of 150 balloons of harmful pollutants into the air.

This is why South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils have launched a joint campaign to help improve air quality across southern Oxfordshire.

The campaign called ‘Turn it Off’ - which has been endorsed by Public Health England - is aimed at drivers who leave their engines ‘idling’ - still running even when the vehicle is not moving. This often happens when a vehicle is parked but the driver is still inside, waiting for someone outside a school or a shop.

Keeping the engine running while parked contributes to an increase of air pollutant levels. Schools, traffic lights and bus stops are most likely locations for idling.

  • Switch off when the car is likely to be stopped for more than 1 minute
  • 1 minute of idling produces twice as many emissions as a moving vehicle
  • 1 minute of idling produces 150 balloons of harmful pollutants
  • Excessive idling is a waste of fuel (and money)
  • People inside cars are exposed to high levels of air pollution, with children especially at risk of harmful effects

Air pollution has been identified by a number of organisations including the World Health Organisation, United Nations and the Royal College of Physicians as the biggest environmental risk to health. A recent report from Public Health England estimated that within the UK, air pollution is linked to up to 36,000 deaths each year. Older people and children are most sensitive to air pollutants.

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