Turn off your engine and protect your health: #BeAirAware on Clean Air Day


Cornwall Council is calling on drivers to help reduce air pollution by switching off their engines when stationary and trying to replace short car journeys with cycling or walking.

As part of Clean Air Day on Thursday June 16, the council is asking motorists to avoid leaving their engines running when waiting for children outside schools, sitting in traffic jams and waiting at crossings at the level.

His message to residents “help your lungs, don’t idle and #BeAirAware” is posted on electronic signs along busy roads in six Cornwall towns.

The council is also asking people to pledge to walk and cycle more to reduce emissions.

Environmental protection officers carry out anti-idling patrols near schools and railway crossings to raise awareness of the harmful effects of engine idling on human health, the environment as well as the waste of fuel.

The campaign is part of the Council’s work to make Cornwall’s air cleaner and help reduce carbon emissions to combat climate change.

Councilor Martyn Alvey, Cornwall Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: ‘We can all play a part in reducing air pollution where we live. If you are driving, remember to turn off your engine if you are stationary for more than a minute. Indeed, an idling vehicle produces up to 150 balloons of harmful emissions per minute.

“Children are particularly exposed to the effects of idling vehicles because they are closer to the exhaust fumes. Turning off your engine when idle will improve air quality as well as your own health and save you money.

“If you can, leave your car at home for short trips and consider walking or cycling, or public transport for longer trips, even if it’s just to swap a car trip per week against a greener mode of transport.”

Louise Hussey, Principal of St Catherine’s School in Launceston, said: ‘We are really committed to promoting active travel to school. Our students are passionate about positive climate action and are always eager to play an active role in the campaign.

“Outdoor school operating hours always present challenges for safety, pollution and our school neighbours, so we are thrilled to join Clean Air Day and the campaign against pollution. idling to try to improve this for our community. »

Air quality is classified as very good in Cornwall, but there are nine Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) due to high levels of nitrogen dioxide in the air, 80% of which are caused by road traffic.

Motorists can be exposed to twice as much air pollution as pedestrians and nine times as much as a cyclist.

As well as harmful health and environmental effects, idling is also an offense under the Road Traffic Act 1988, with councils having the power to issue a fixed fine for vehicles being driven at speed. idle under the Road Traffic Regulations 2002.

Learn more about the #BeAirAware campaign.

You can log any active trip or public transport journey you take on the Cornwall Active Travel Challenge, whether it’s your daily commute, trips to the shops, walks or rides at the time for lunch, running to school or work.

Story added June 15, 2022

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