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UK: Kill Your Motorcycle Engine On Idle, Or Else

  Posted at 12:26:58 PM
  File under  News Ecology
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France

We seem to be getting recently a series of really strange, often political, stories about what the governments are dreaming up to keep themselves employed. Must be that time of the year....

Traffic Jam
The latest comes from the UK, where one county (Shoreham-by-Sea in West Sussex) are planning to issue fines to any motorcycle or car that has their engine running while idle. In other words, if you don't switch off your engine in a traffic jam, you're going to face a £20 fine!

Couple of thoughts: 1) yes, it's a good idea to cut your engine if you're not going to be moving for a while. It cuts out the CO2 emissions (but increases fuel usage). 2) but who is going to determine what the appropriate time is?

This smells, yet again, and it's not the CO2. There's no rule that says if you're in traffic, not moving for x minutes, cut your engine. So if a traffic warden is having a bad hair day, they can make it rain fines. If you come to a stop at a red light, and don't kill off your engine, you can get fined, even if the light will go green seconds later.

The UK is not the only place where there are kill-you-engine-on-idle rules. There are several states (15 at last count) in the USA that have similar regulations. But they're not there for pollution, they are there for car theft prevention.

Obviously for motorcycles it's slightly less of a problem, unless you don't lane split (filter). But even motorcycles can find themselves with their engine idling. Of course many of us switch off anyway, since our engines generate a lot of heat on idle, so it can get uncomfortable.

Back to my quest of finding reasonable laws.... this one is going to backfire! It's going to force people with older cars to buy new ones, since their cars aren't going to like to engine on/off all the time. It's also going to raise a lot of problems for cops and traffic wardens when they do fine people for not turning off their engines. It's going to increase confusion on when to switch off your engine.

If the test works in Shoreham, they're going to go nationwide. The UK Automobile Association (AA) are against the proposed rule.

Via: Daily Mail

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