Switch off when you drop off because idling cars cost lives

Why turn your car engine off?

It’s a massive health hazard, and your children are more vulnerable than adults because they’re still developing. It can aggravate conditions like asthma, and recent research from the World Health Organisation shows that air pollution may be damaging every organ and virtually every cell in the body.

It’s responsible for 500 deaths a year across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent. Children and babies are most at risk from air pollution, with 30% more likely to develop asthma due to air quality.

Air pollution can be 30% higher outside schools because of idling cars. Running your car whilst stationary and parked is also illegal.

Making a big difference to protect your child is really easy

Walking, cycling or scooting to school even once a week will make a big difference, but if you must drive, remember to switch off when you drop off!

Make a pledge to switch off when you drop off today!

If you make a pledge below, you'll get some more information on easy ways to carry out your pledge. If you let us know your email, we will send you more tips, advice, and stories of people doing the same.

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Keeping your engine running - the fact and fiction

Fiction - "Idling doesn't put out a lot of pollution"

Fact - An idling engine can produce up to twice as many exhaust emissions as an engine in motion. An idling car can fill up to 150 balloons with harmful emissions every minute. Switching off your engine can go a long way to improving air quality.

Fiction - "Leaving your car running is cheaper than turning it off and on again"

Fact - It is cheaper to turn off your engine. Sitting in your car with your engine running could cost you more than you think. Between 5% and 8% of fuel use occurs while idling.

Fiction - "It's better to be inside the car than out of it - it protects me from the fumes"

Fact - The air quality inside the car can be up to twice as worse than outside, and is even worse in Winter. Why not try walking or cycling on quieter routes?

Fiction - "I need to keep the engine running to keep the heater on"

Fact - If you park and keep the ignition on, rather than turning the car off completely, the heater should stay warm for up to 30 minutes. 

Fiction - "It's not illegal to idle"

Fact - It is illegal. Leaving a vehicle's engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road could get you a fine of £20 or even £80 in air quality management areas.

Fiction - "Idling doesn't damage people's health"

Fact - Vehicles idling can put as much as twice as much pollutants as a car in motion. Reducing air pollution can help cut heart disease, reduce lung cancer and prevent asthma cases. Up to 160,000 deaths a year are due to poor air quality.

Poor air quality affects everyone - especially children. Remember to switch off your engine!


Join others pledging to do one thing extra to help themselves, their family or those around them. Pledge now to do your bit and clean up the air you and your family breathe. 

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We’ll only use your email to send you information that might be helpful to you to carry out your pledge, and send you information about other things that people are doing in your area.

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