Switch it off and clean it up

Driving the message home
Driving the message home

Motorists have been urged to ‘switch off’ and do their bit to help make East Dunbartonshire a clean and green place to live.

Many car owners are still unaware that it is illegal to have a vehicle engine idling when parked – with those who ignore the law facing an on-the-spot £20 fine.

East Dunbartonshire Council have now launched a major advertising campaign to urge residents to stick to the rules.

Government statistics estimate that air pollution in the UK reduces the life expectancy of every person by an average of 7–8 months, with an associated cost of up to £20 billion each year.

Council leader Rhondda Geekie said: “Nobody likes breathing in exhaust fumes, and, in fact, engine idling is against the law and people can be fined for doing so.

“It can also be really bad news for people with lung or breathing difficulties and of course children, so we need people to switch off their engine when their car is not moving.

“We are taking the ‘Switch Off’ message to the people of East Dunbartonshire through billboard adverts throughout the area.

“Officers will also be stepping up patrols in the area, targeting engine idling.

“Although air quality has improved in some areas, there is no room for complacency and measures will continue to be implemented.”

East Dunbartonshire Council has a statutory obligation to regularly review and assess air quality in its area and to ensure that all efforts are made to meet the Scottish air quality objectives.

There are two ‘Air Quality Management Areas’ in East Dunbartonshire – one in Bishopbriggs and one in Bearsden.

Vehicle emission testing is funded by the Scottish Government to help improve air quality and is carried out by trained officers.

Testing sites are moved around the area with tests carried out regularly in Kirkintilloch, Milngavie and near Bishopbriggs. Vehicles which fail the test are subject to a £60 fine, which will be waived if the fault is fixed within 14 days and a new MOT certificate produced.

Further information can be found on www.scottishairquality.co.uk or by calling 0300 123 4510.