As well as safety, one of the scourges of the school run is air quality, particularly as some parents will sit in an idling car. Idling means that a vehicle’s engine is running while it is stationary, which then increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air.
These fumes contain harmful gasses such as carbon dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons, which are linked to asthma and other lung diseases.
For an engine to be running unnecessarily while the vehicle is stationary on a public road is an offence. Local authorities can issue £20 fixed penalty notices, but “only if a motorist refuses to switch their engine off when asked to do so by an authorised person”, according to the RAC. As a result, the introduction of “no-idling zones” around schools is being discussed, to avoid children leaving school through a cloud of toxins.