Motorists could be fined for leaving engines running in Sefton MOTORISTS who leave their engines running when stationary could be fined under tough new rules.
Sefton council’s environ- mental protection department (EPD) wants to hand drivers on-the-spot fines of up to £40 if they do not switch off their vehicle when standing still for more than a couple of minutes.
It follows complaints about cars standing with their engines running while waiting at level crossings, as well as waiting for buses and delivery vehicles to move on.
In particular, numerous people have reported bus drivers leaving engines on for up to 30 minutes.
The EPD argues leaving engines running is an “inefficient use of fuel” and releases gases with a “negative effect on both climate change and public health”.
The proposed “stationary idling offence” would apply to areas throughout Sefton.
If approved, it would give council officers the power to ask drivers who leave their vehicle running to switch off.
If they refuse, they could be fined £20, rising to £40 if it is not paid within a certain amount of time.
Cllr David Tattersall, executive member for the environment, said: “We are no way just going to start fining innocent motorists left, right and centre.
“It is more about advising people to switch off their engines to reduce vehicle emissions and prevent air pollution.
“If passed, the new regulations will target repeat offenders as a last resort.
“We have received a number of complaints from concerned members of the public about the pollution stationary vehicles give off, especially older buses and lorries.
“In my opinion, the worst offenders are police vehicles, who I often seen just sitting there with their engines on.
“I believe advice and guidance is more effective then rash measures.”
Bill Richey, chairman of North Sefton Hackney Drivers’ Association, said: “I can see the point of encouraging people to switch off their engines at level crossings because you can be kept waiting 15 minutes at a time.
“But from a taxi driver’s point of view, it is just not possible for us to sit there with our engines off in the winter months.” THE ECHO