Island drivers picking up and dropping off children at the school gates are being urged to stop their engines idling whilst texting on their mobile phones.

Several residents who live close to Island schools have expressed concerns to Councillor Chris Whitehouse, who leads on school policy for the Isle of Wight Council, about parents picking up children who sit in their cars with the engines idling whilst texting or updating social media on their mobile phones.

Cllr Whitehouse has said:

“For many parents, there’s no choice other than to do the school run by car, but there are two main benefits in turning off the engine. First, we reduce pollution, raising the air quality for our children and for those who live near our schools. Second, turning off the engine reduces fuel consumption and saves money.”

Highlighting a recent change in the law, which is already the subject of a clampdown by local police, Councillor Whitehouse adds:

“If your engine’s turned on, and you’re on the mobile phone, depending on where your vehicle is, you may still be breaking the law. You may be liable for six points on your licence and a £200 fine. Newly qualified drivers with under two years’ experience could lose their licence altogether and have to retake their test.

“Park responsibly and turn off the engine, is my simple message” says Councillor Whitehouse “It’s a small change, but it could improve air quality, reduce fuel bills and avoid points on your driving licence.”

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