MOTORISTS who leave their engine running while stationary are not just breaking the law but are causing significant air pollution.
Road safety organisation GEM Motorist Assist has taken a swipe at the habit which it says is a contributory factor in the 40,000 air pollution-related deaths the Royal College of Physicians says occur in the UK every year.
Neil Worth, GEM's road safety officer, is now calling on drivers to show more sense when stopped.
Idling is the term given to leaving your car's engine running while your vehicle is stationary and you are not planning on moving off.
"Idling means your car, van or truck pumps loads more carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other potentially harmful exhaust gases into the air," said Mr Worth.
"That's why it's an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, as made clear by Rule 123 of the Highway Code. Leaving a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while stationary on a public road can land you with a Â£20 penalty charge notice.
"So we ask drivers to think twice before sitting stationary in their vehicle with the engine running. By switching off you will be helping to improve air quality, reducing your carbon footprint and complying with the law."