Ditch The Cough Blog
From the beginning of March 2018, Camden have taken it upon themselves to fine drivers who leave their engines running.
I am sceptical though, and wrote to the press about this: article attached.
From recent requests the past 3 months have not gone well: not one person has been prosecuted and yet EVERY day I walk past engines idling. Why is this? Because the campaign to fine is not working. They are not monitoring how many warnings have been given. Then we would know how effective it is.
Sunday, we strolled along Eton Avenue. I wasn’t really looking for anything but noticed that this pleasant looking MG was running at a stand-still. I crossed the road to give them a leaflet.
A light tap on the window and a lady in her early 60’s dropped the window – I did my simple introduction and gave her the leaflet, smiled and stepped away and was quite happy to walk away there and then. But she wanted to talk.
So I listened politely: she had been told by the garage man that as she had a new battery, she was told to run the car. She didn’t seem to be making an excuse but was interested in doing the right thing – even though she had been instructed by a person who should know better.
I offered to say that one should normally NOT need to run a car with a new battery – and that it was best to charge the battery by actually moving – as the surplus energy from the engine during rolling would add more charge. She explained that she was just about to pick up somebody as well so all was fine as she switched off the engine.
I was happy to walk away – but it is funny that people really feel that they have to explain themselves. But rightly or wrongly I consider that they do not have to do that: they simply have to say to themselves “Oh! I forgot – silly me – I’ll switch it off”. No excuses, no pack-drill. Maybe a “Thank You” for reminding them of their civic responsibility of the correct way to running a vehicle in the city. But that is all.
Today, I walked from Tottenham Court Road to the St Margaret’s Street blood doning centre and through the back streets I happen to pass a chap in a jeep with his engine running. He was tapping on his mobile phone with the window open.
I whipped out a leaflet and simply said: “Hello. I represent a local initiative. Can I give you some information?”. He took the leaflet and immediately recognized the problem, said “oh! yes” and switched off his engine. He looked embarrassed but I smiled and said thank you and walked away.
I realize that the most effective way is simply to offer the information without any explanation.