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Caught Idling at school? You could be in for a ticking off…and a fine

Mums and dads have been warned to wrap-up warm to avoid fines at the school gates after new research revealed more than one in ten leaves their motor running while waiting for their kids.

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photograph of a woman with sunglasses waiting in a car

Experts at price comparison site Quotezone.co.uk are urging drivers to stop their cars idling outside schools in order to reduce air pollution and avoid fines of up to £80.

Idling, the term used for leaving a vehicle’s engine running while it is stationary, is banned at schools because it creates harmful emissions that contribute to air pollution and can damage children’s health.

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Motorists are being urged to wrap up with extra coats, hats and gloves so they don’t need to keep the engine running to fuel the heater.

New research by Quotezone.co.uk found 11% of drivers fail to turn off their engines while waiting outside school – therefore committing the offence.

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Drivers who breach the law by leaving their engines running unnecessarily, risk receiving a £20 penalty notice that will double if not paid in full within 28 days.

The charges are even higher in London, where motorists are issued with a £40 fine that can increase to £80 if not settled within a two-week period.

Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk said: “It can be tempting to leave the engine running during the colder, darker months when the car is bright and cosy.

“But drivers need to be aware that by running their engines, they are wasting fuel and potentially damaging the health of the school children who may be breathing in harmful fumes.

“Vehicle emissions are especially harmful for kids as they breathe more rapidly than adults and therefore take in more pollution.

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“They’re also costing themselves money by burning fuel they could be conserving and that’s not to mention the long-term damage to the environment and the air quality.” 

Researchers at Quotezone.co.uk polled 1,000 motorists to ask them about their school run drop off habits.

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