Drivers with idling engines set bad example for next generation

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 14 January, 2009, 12:00am

I take issue with Wilkie Wong's view ('Better to keep cars off road', January 12) that banning idling engines is an ineffective way to reduce vehicle emissions and that such a ban will inconvenience members of the public and the police.

Whether it is an inconvenience really relates to what you are used to.

I do not see how it can be inconvenient to switch off your car engine when you are waiting for someone, whether it is for one minute, five minutes or whatever period of time you are waiting.

Unfortunately, despite campaigns from the government [to reduce the number drivers with idling engines] I continue to see many cars parked with their engines on.

This is especially the case outside well-known schools, including private schools. Often you will see the driver, who may be hired, reading a newspaper, playing a computer game or just napping, while waiting for the children to come out.

It is through seeing adults behaving in this way that our children learn how not to be environmentally aware.

When your correspondent suggests inconvenience, this is just the (inconvenient) act of stepping out of your vehicle and waiting sometimes only amounts to a few minutes, in the cold or heat of summer. But on many days, the temperature is acceptable for people waiting.

Switching off the engine is a smart way to conserve fuel, and families should demand that the drivers they hire do that.

Whilst I fully agree that the government should find ways of reducing the number of cars on our roads as Mr Wong suggests, I would oppose the building of more parking facilities especially in dense urban areas.

In order to get to these urban areas people can take public transport.

Providing more parking facilities will only encourage more cars into what are already congested areas.

Another option would be to get more car parks charging on a 15-minute basis and enforcing an idling engine ban.

Mark Chan, Tai Po



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