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Anti-idling campaign: Kick the Habit

Our 'Kick the Habit' campaign is raising awareness about the dangers of idling or running your engine in a stationary vehicle. Use this page to learn more about the campaign and download useful resources.

Running your vehicle's engine while waiting contributes to nitrogen dioxide pollution and worsens air quality. This type of pollution can make lung and heart conditions worse. It can also reduce lung development in children and triggering asthma attacks.

You might see drivers idling their engines while waiting outside schools, shops, hospitals and homes, unaware of the effect on those around them. Children, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions are disproportionately affected.

Our aims

The 'Kick the Habit' campaign aims to:

  • raise awareness of the dangers of idling engines
  • encourage more people to switch off their engine while waiting
  • highlight the benefits of driving more responsibly

Key messages

The impact of running engines whilst waiting:

  • Contributes to air pollution affecting the health of those around you
  • Particularly harmful for children and vulnerable people close to schools, nurseries, clinics and hospitals
  • 36,000 deaths a year are estimated to be linked to air pollution
  • Nitrogen dioxide pollution caused by vehicle emissions can worsen heart and lung conditions, reduce children's lung development and worsen asthma
  • Costly wear and tear to your vehicle

The reasons why you don't need to keep your engine running:

  • Modern batteries are more efficient and don't need to be running constantly to remain charged or use the radio
  • Engines take a long time to cool down so will still send warm air through the heaters into the vehicle for a reasonable time
  • You can idle your engine when defrosting your windscreen, but it's better for the environment to use a windscreen protector
  • You can idle your engine if you are queuing in traffic, but if you are stationary for longer than 1 minute, you should turn off your engine.

Download campaign materials

To support this campaign and encourage people to turn off their engines, please download the relevant resource pack.  Packs include print-ready leaflets, posters, banners, postcards, stickers and social media assets. Each pack is a zipped file containing all campaign materials for you to use.

Make the pledge

We are encouraging local residents and businesses to 'Kick the Habit'. Pledge to turn off your engine while waiting and encourage others to do the same by using our online form.

You can also download our campaign materials including posters and social media posts to share your pledge online and with your local community.

Pledge to Kick the Habit