The problem is compounded by the fact that children breathe more rapidly than adults. An infant breathes in three times as much air, while a six-year-old child breathes in twice as much as an adult, relative to body weight.
Research shows that more than 8,500 schools, nurseries and colleges in Britain are located in areas with dangerously high levels of pollution. (2)
In fact, the journey to and from school, combined with their time in the classroom and playground, is where children receive 59% of their daily exposure to air pollution3. Poor air pollution has multiple negative health impacts on children such as increased rates of asthma and reduced lung function in adulthood.
One of the contributory – and unnecessary – factors is vehicles that sit stationary with their engines running; this is known as idling.
On average, every minute of idling produces enough emissions to fill 150 party balloons4 and is illegal under the Road Traffic Regulations 2002 and Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 in Scotland. Not only does it affect everyone’s health but could land the driver with a fixed penalty fine of £80.
These health concerns, particularly the health concerns of our children5, is why we have launched our Be Mindful, Don’t Idle campaign. We are aiming to educate as many motorists as possible, not just those on the school-run, of the impact idling has on the quality of air around us, and our children.
Here at Renault we already provide a number of key technologies and vehicles which can reduce the number of unnecessary emissions.
We offer Stop & Start technology, which automatically turns the engine off when the vehicle comes to standstill to reduce emissions and improve fuel economy.
We believe in sustainable mobility for all, and that’s why we have had a range of electric vehicles on the market for ten years now.
Our latest E-TECH Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid vehicles enable reduced emissions and fuel consumption6. You can select pure electric mode which can be switched on when in and around town and especially when doing the school run.
Our 100% electric vehicle range includes the award-winning Renault ZOE. Offering zero tailpipe emissions, and up to 245 miles of range7.
Although all these technologies are available, the first step on the journey to improve air quality is to look at our own driving habits. Whether it is not using a vehicle on short journeys where possible, or just turning your engine off when not moving we all have a part to play.
1 UNICEF - Healthy Air for Every Child: a Call for National Action
3 UNICEF - The toxic school run: UK children at daily risk from air pollution
5 Renault surveyed 4,000 motorists in total in the UK across one week in 2020 (2,000 who do the school run daily and 2,000 general commuter drivers).
6 In comparison to the full TCe versions. For more information visit: https://www.renault.co.uk/easy-life/e-tech.html
7 Model shown GT Line R135 238 miles. Play R110 up to 245 miles. WLTP figures shown are for comparability purposes. Figures obtained after the battery was fully charged. Actual real-world driving results may vary depending on factors such as the starting charge of the battery, accessories fitted after registration, weather conditions, driving styles and vehicle load.