It has come to my attention that adults are sitting in their cars - before and after school - with the engines running and I am writing to ask that, if you are parking around school with the car engine idling, you think about the consequences and stop.
Reasons to stop idling:
- Air monitoring around schools has shown elevated levels of toxins during drop-off and pick-up times as parents and carers idle their car engines. On average, a car engine sat idling for 1 minute is equivalent, in the volume of toxins, as 3 packets of cigarettes being smoked.
- Due to advances in technology, letting a vehicle idle for more than 10 seconds burns more fuel than turning it off and restarting. This means we each buy two to five tanks of petrol per year that we never use to get to our destinations. You waste money when the car sits idle.
- Breathing exhaust fumes is linked to increases in asthma, allergies, heart and lung disease, cancer, and autism. Children are especially vulnerable because they inhale more air per kilogram of body weight than adults do.
- Idling can damage engine components. When idling, a car's fuel is only partially combusted because the engine isn't at peak temperature. This causes fuel residue to build up on cylinder walls, which can damage engine components and increase fuel consumption.
So, please help us improve air quality around our children by doing the right thing and turn off those engines when waiting in cars before and after school - it really would be appreciated.
Thank you and with all good wishes,
Richard D Rhodes