A neighbour down the road had a car that was not working very well. It wouldn’t start. Last week, he had left the car running for 40 minutes trying to charge the battery. It was an old car with terrifying levels of pollution. It was also a VW!
A lady who had just dropped her child off to the child-minders nearby was pacing up and down asking neighbours who the car belonged to. She was clearly distressed about the pollution effect. Yet this man simply left the car with the ignition running.
Today, I hear the car again. This time, an RAC man was there. I tackled the neighbour directly. I said that what he was doing was illegal and that he caused misery for the neighbourhood because he couldn’t be bothered to replace the faulty battery and call out the road services people to start his car. All his efforts to charge his battery had clearly come to nought. The car was running. The RAC man kept well out of it. He did say that it was okay to run the car when carrying out diagnostics. I retorted that it was not okay to try and charge a faulty battery for 40 minutes by simply running the engine as this man had done.
I was fuming but I was resolutely calm. This man had clearly considered that it was not a problem and that he had a right to run his car this way. He just stared at me and did not respond.