A new study predicts a significant rise in the number of parents driving their children to school, with more than six in 10 saying COVID has increased the likelihood of using the car.
However, more than 1 in 4 also leave their car idling during the school run, which is leaving experts worried about the impact on air quality outside schools.
1 in 3 children are already growing up breathing unsafe levels of air pollution.
The biggest reason for parents leaving engines idling and producing excessive tailpipe emissions is a lack of parking outside schools. The predicted rise in the number of cars on the school run will only make this worse.
A quarter admitted not switching the engine off was because they wanted to keep the heater or air con running.
The problem is being exacerbated because six in 10 parents don’t know that leaving their car idling is illegal.
Rule 123 of the Highways Code outlaws it and parents are at risk of an £80 fixed penalty fine.
Renault is now aiming to address the problem with a new campaign called ‘Be Mindful, Don’t Idle’.
“Every minute a car is idling, it produces enough emissions to fill 150 balloons,” said Renault’s Matt Shirley.
“This is not about demonising the school run. Our study underlines the importance, even more so since lockdown, of the car.
“We just want parents and guardians to be mindful of the detrimental impact of idling, and to alter their behaviours for their own children and those around them.”
Watch: Renault Be Mindful, Don’t Idle campaign