Idling engines law is not the answer

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2002, 12:00am

Your correspondent 'Name and Address Supplied' (South China Morning Post, October 12) is not correct in stating that the 'EPD [Environmental Protection Department] says engine idling is not harmful'. Emissions from idling engines are a nuisance and concern to many people, particularly where there are significant numbers of these vehicles in one place. Your correspondent clearly feels legislation is the remedy to the problem. Information gathered by the EPD indicates that few cities have laws controlling idling vehicles, and that where such legislation is in place, it frequently contains exemptions for very hot or very cold weather conditions. In Hong Kong, this would result in exemptions for most of the year.

The Legislative Council was fully briefed last year on the problems of idling vehicles and potential measures to control them. Legislative control without strong community support would require a disproportionate amount of resources to achieve compliance. That is why our effort is targeted at persuasion. Idling engines are most often found in commercial vehicles.

It is not only the drivers of such vehicles, but the managers and owners of the companies operating the vehicles that need to clean up their act.


Deputy Director of Environmental Protection