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Govt calls on drivers to ‘turn off your engines’

Library image of a queue at the border.

The Government is set to encourage motor vehicle owners to turn off their engines when stationary instead of letting them idle in a bid to reduce transport pollution. A series of signs are expected to be placed in various locations across the Rock asking drivers not to let their engines run idly.
“The first thing we are going to do is put notices up and try and raise awareness,” said Minister for Environment Dr John Cortes.
“Obviously it is very difficult to enforce it, because in enforcement you have to catch somebody actually doing it and then prove it, but certainly what we want to do from our angle is to increase awareness,” he said.
A prime example of a location where vehicle engines remain on is along Winston Churchill Avenue when the runway is closed to vehicular traffic.
There are of course other means of transport on the road other than private vehicles. Public buses are also road users.
The Minister for Transport and Traffic Paul Balban explained that it is not necessarily beneficiary or considerate for buses to turn the engines off.
“It would be very easy for us to tell the bus driver to turn the engine off but what happens is that the internal heat in the bus will go up, especially in July, August weather.”
The buses need the engine to be running for the air conditioning systems to operate also.
Many new cars now have an ‘eco’ system, which automatically shuts off the engine when stationary in traffic after certain periods and automatically restart with a simple press on the accelerator. Mr Balban envisioned that in time buses will also have this feature.
Hybrid cars are also more environmentally friendly, Dr Cortes owns such a car, “I have one now and it makes such a huge difference in the emissions, so that is another thing we need to encourage more and more of”.

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