Parked car with engine running....

Brian Marwood

Active member
Strange thing happened this morning. I was in a carpark with my engine running and was just about to drive away when I decided to read my emails before I left so was there for a few minutes. While doing so a guy banged on my window, I opened my window to see what he wanted and he told me to turn off my engine as I was 'smoking the air' in his words.

Is it so wrong to have the engine running when parked?
 

S7DiscoDown

Well-known member
I think people need to worry about worse things in the world. He would have got a swift 'go away' (censored) from me.

I mean why would anyone seriously do that to someone? I can safely say I've never looked at a running car and thought 'they should turn the engine off due to pollution' 😂

Also in this day and age its lucky it was you. I imagine you do that to the wrong person and anything could happen.
 

TheYorkshireTerrier

Well-known member
I mean in the grand scheme of things he's probably right, individually it's one drop but together it's an ocean, or something like that.

Depends how long you were parked for really.
 

S7DiscoDown

Well-known member
Perhaps you should. Whenever I see a parked car with the engine running it's the first thought I have. Why can't they just turn it off?
Well maybe they are 'literally' about to leave? I'm not sure at what point a car is running when it shouldn't be.

I should stress I turn mine off (like most cars it has start stop). Although it more about me being tight than the environment.

I get far more wound up about people dropping litter or dog owners not picking up dog sh*t. It's more likely to get me banged out when I raise my 'concurns' 😂
 

Billy69_uk

Well-known member
I think my reaction would depend entirely on his tone and his deportment.

It could range from "fair enough mate I will turn it off", up to "Fook right off to$$pot, whats it got to do with you" and maybe some thing in between.
 

wilkos_perm

Well-known member
Plenty of people sit near the school my kids attend with their engine running at pick up time. I've seen lots of people pull them up on it and I'm in agreement with it. The tone of the comment is important though.
 

Billy69_uk

Well-known member
California has vehicle idle laws, mainly aimed at trucks and busses.

Idling for more than 5 minutes is prohibited within California's borders. Fines start at $300 and can be as much as $1000 per day. Violators may also face criminal charges.

New trucks have to have engine idle control (stop/start) systems and a sticker has to be placed on the cab.

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bear66

Well-known member
Strange thing happened this morning. I was in a carpark with my engine running and was just about to drive away when I decided to read my emails before I left so was there for a few minutes. While doing so a guy banged on my window, I opened my window to see what he wanted and he told me to turn off my engine as I was 'smoking the air' in his words.

Is it so wrong to have the engine running when parked?
It is an offence in the UK to leave your car idling on a public road (for emissions reasons), although you can only get a fixed penalty notice if you refuse to stop the engine when asked to do so (by police or local council marshal). This law doesn't apply to private land.
 

Expat Smoggie

Active member
boy it's a tough life...maybe we'll be told to stop belching and farting next as it damages the environment -- which apparently it does. Maybe have a good fart in the car before you head outside. Maybe sure you don't leave your little ones in the car now that the engine is turned off as you could end up in jail-- leave the engine on in that case, in which case you'll get a fine.
 

Trug

Well-known member
No it's not OK. You're breaking the law if you touch a phone if the engine is running, including on private land. Paying by mobile phone is also illegal in a drive through if your engine is running.
But I can pay using my plastic or cash with the engine runningand that is OK? Seems strange to me.
 

Ex pfc wintergreen

Active member
No it's not OK. You're breaking the law if you touch a phone if the engine is running, including on private land. Paying by mobile phone is also illegal in a drive through if your engine is running.
I don't believe they can enforce rules of the road on private land, you're saying you can be prosecuted on your own drive, not true.
 

bear66

Well-known member
I don't believe they can enforce rules of the road on private land, you're saying you can be prosecuted on your own drive, not true.
The wording is "Driving offences can only be enforced on those using a vehicle on public roads. The Road Traffic Regulations Act defines a road as “any length of highway or other road to which the public has access.”"

So car parks and drive-thrus are considered as roads where the public has access. Your driveway isn't.
 

Heam44

Well-known member
No it's not OK. You're breaking the law if you touch a phone if the engine is running, including on private land. Paying by mobile phone is also illegal in a drive through if your engine is running.
Regards to the “touch a phone” part.

I think you’re incorrect. I believe you can touch your phone if it’s on a dashboard / windscreen Mount etc.

Also regards to the drive through part, you may be right technically but no Bobby would ever do you for that. If you’re on the phone but are stationary with car in neutral and handbrake on, effectively the car would be parked safely and you’d be fine.
 
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