Renault Invents Pollution Lollipop

Thu 8th Oct 2020

Parents and children across the UK will be able to instantly measure the level of air pollution at their school gates after a French car company devised an innovative twist on the traditional school crossing ‘lollipop’.

In what is a bold move for a manufacturer which along with every other car maker in the industry has been one of the chief polluters for the last fifty years, Renault are now keen to encourage greener practices whilst driving.

The company’s ‘Be Mindful, Don’t Idle’ campaign is encouraging those doing the school run not to leave their engines running at the school gate, adding to the poor air quality found near schools.

The custom lollipop will only be used as part of the Renault campaign and is not expected to be used widely in the UK. The high-tech lollipop can measure the concentration of fine particulates in the air, known as PM2.5. The World Health Organisation recommends that the air we breath should not exceed 10 μg/m3  though the legal limit in the UK is twice that level.

The lollipop was demonstrated at Castle Newnham school in Bedford, where the levels were deemed to be ‘Good’, compared to other scores of ‘Okay’ and ‘Poor’.

“The lollipop has been the symbol of road safety for decades. Today, safety is not just about how to cross a road, it is also about how safe the air is that our children breathe going in and out of schools on a daily basis,” explains Matt Shirley, Senior Manager – Electrification & New Mobility, Renault UK. “The adoption of electric vehicles is a journey, but in the meantime, it’s important that we all do our bit and don’t leave our engines running unnecessarily.”

Research show that an idling vehicle can contribute the equivalent of 150 party balloons of emissions every minute. The British Lung Foundation have found that 8,500 school in England, Scotland and Wales have dangerously high levels of pollution.