Under new proposed laws, leaving your car idling while picking up and dropping off your kids at school could get you fined.
The proposed laws are part of a plan to cut harmful vehicle emissions and improve Australia’s air quality, The Age reports.
Health and energy experts have warned that increased traffic, combined with the modern preference for driving to school, risks exposing children to dangerously high levels of noxious chemicals, including sulphur and diesel particles.
A joint submission to the Turnbull government’s, Better fuel for cleaner air, says, children are especially at risk of being exposed to “high levels of noxious chemicals” as driving kids to school has become a preference for many parents.
“Schools and childcare centres are often placed on or near busy roads, exposing a particularly vulnerable subset of our population to daily pollution concentrations much higher than those reflected by the [general area],” the paper says.
Say NO To ‘Idling’
“Targeting schools with ‘anti-idling zones’ is a natural starting point in reducing acute exposures to children during their commute to school,” the submission paper says
Speaking to The Age, co-submission author Clare Walter said: “It always makes me laugh when I see parents outside schools strapping their children into the very best of car seats, and they’re European cars because they’re safer, and they’ve got the engine running and the doors open.”
“It’s not their fault, they are just completely unaware.”
The anti-idling push was endorsed by Our Children, Our Schools, a Melbourne-based public education campaign alliance.
“Car trips to school are a big contributor to morning peak-hour congestion and the air pollution that goes with it,” president Catherine Hall said.
“Our Children, Our Schools would support any initiatives aimed at reducing car idling, and therefore exposure to harmful emissions, at pick-up and drop-offs.”
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