Published in Environment on news.gov.hk on November 3rd 2007:
Engine idlers may get warnings
Along with issuing fixed-penalty tickets to drivers who do not switch off their idling vehicle’s engine, the Government is considering issuing warning letters to these drivers upon receiving public complaints, Deputy Director of Environmental Protection Carlson Chan says.
Speaking on a radio talk show today Mr Chan said complaints are often received from the public about pollution caused by drivers that leave their engines running while their vehicle is stopped, and is studying ways to curb the problem.
He agreed that certain old turbo engine models require an idling time before being switched off or their lifespan will be shortened. The Government is consulting local vehicle importers to investigate which models should be granted exemption.
The Government has launched a five-month public consultation on its proposal to ban idling vehicle engines. It is aimed for a mid-2009 implementation.
Mr Chan said a total ban is necessary because air and noise pollution caused by idling vehicles are a nuisance regardless of place and time.
Drivers in Toronto can still switch on engines when their car is stopped if the temperature is below five degrees Celsius or over 27. Mr Chan said the Government open to similar suggestions.
The Government will consult District Councils in the coming five-months, but he said it does not want to add too many exemptions on top of those in the consultation document, as they may pose many difficulties for enforcement.
Mr Chan said the ban will greatly improve pollution on the roads and the rationale is to raise public concern and involvement in environmental protection.