When it’s been a cold and frosty morning the majority of us will leave our car engines running, in order to de-ice our windscreens, however we could be in for nasty surprise.
This is due to the fact that Stationary idling is an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988; the act enforces rule 123 of the Highway Code:
“You must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”
If you are caught by the police you can be given a £20 fixed fine or £40 if it is not paid within the time frame given. This is not the worse outcome that could you could find yourself in whilst your car is running and you’ve popped back inside to make a brew…
You are making your car an easy target for opportunist thieves.
Why are you not making life hard for criminals? Leaving your key in the ignition with the engine running equates to basically just letting a thief drive away in your car. To make the situation worse 9 times out of 10 insurance companies will refuse to pay out on your loss, as you have not taken the right precautions as you have acted in a way which significantly increased the risk of your car being stolen.
To quote the Financial Ombudsman:
“We find that insurers usually reject claims where the keys have been left in the car and sometimes even if the car had merely been left unlocked.”
Obviously it does not mean that you need to turn your engine off at red light or pelican crossing though, it is basically directed at unnecessarily idling vehicles to help reduce both air and noise pollution.
It also means that you don’t have to switch your engine off when you’re stuck in a traffic jam either. As car technology continues to evolve with more fuel efficient vehicles leaving you engine idling for a small amount of time whilst sitting in traffic uses less fuel consumption than if you were too constantly to switch off and start up your engine.
Check out this video for some great advice on how to prepare, maintain and care for your car during the wintry weather periods. From deicing your windows and mirrors, to avoiding frozen door locks and even how to get out of a snowbank:
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