Being Idle On The School Run Can Cost You £80

Tue 15th Sep 2020

We may be more likely to take our kids to school in the car during these pandemic times, but school-run parents are being warned not to leave their engine running at the school gates or risk an £80 fixed penalty.

New research from Renault has studied the habits of more than 4,000 school-run parents and found that even though there 8,500 schools in areas with dangerously high levels of pollution, 62% say they are more likely to drive their kids to school in the current climate.

The research found that 32.7% of men are likely to leave their engines running at the school gates, known as idling, while 22% of women would do the same.

Parents believe that it is okay to leave their car idling as they are only there a short while, with almost a third giving that as the excuse for leaving the engine on, the second most used excuse was that drivers wanted to keep the heater or air-con on.

Drivers in Greater London are most likely to leave the engine running, 22.5 per cent compared to the more considered parents of Yorkshire and Humberside at just 8.1 per cent.

“The fact that the majority of people don’t realise that idling is illegal just highlights the scale of the problem,” said Matt Shirley, Senior Manager, Electrification & New Mobility. “Every minute a car is idling it produces enough emissions to fill 150 balloons.
“It goes without saying, if the 27% of school run journeys stop idling, there would be a significant improvement in the air quality for their children.
“This is not about demonising the school run, our study underlines the importance, even more so since lockdown, of the car. We just want parents and guardians to be mindful of the detrimental impact of idling, and to alter their behaviours for their own children and those around them.”