School run fine of £20 - a stark warning for waiting parents

This school run fine could double if not paid promptly

School run fine illustrated by man in car
(Image credit: Getty / Future)

Experts warn that a school run fine of £20 could hit parents who leave their engine 'idling' during the school run.

In addition to navigating the cost of living crisis (opens in new tab), and weighing up fines for taking kids out of school (opens in new tab) to save money on holidays, parents and carers now receive a stark warning that the school run could cost too. They are being advised to wrap up with extra coats, hats and gloves so they don’t need to keep the engine running to fuel the heater or face a twenty quid fine, doubling to forty if not paid promptly. And, if you live in London the penalty is even higher, with motorists issued a £40 fine that can increase to £80 if not settled within a two-week period.

Mum-of-two, Louise tells us; "I always arrive to school a bit earlier and sit in the car to read with my son before gates open. We have to have to keep the engine on so the car is warm, it's Baltic in the winter otherwise."

Louise is not alone, many parents and carers on the school run do this, especially this time of year but there's a reason why it's no longer allowed. 

School run fine 

Idling, leaving your vehicle engine running while stationary, creates air pollution and is usually unnecessary. It is also an offence in law under the Section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988., according to the RAC (opens in new tab). The warning comes as new research by Qutezone.co.uk states that 11% of drivers on the school run don't turn their engines off while waiting outside schools.

Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk said: “It can be tempting to leave the engine running during the colder, darker months but drivers need to be aware that by running their engines, they are wasting fuel and potentially damaging the health of the school children who may be breathing in harmful fumes."

School run fine illustrated by car exhaust

(Image credit: Getty Images)

He goes on to add; “... Drivers need to be aware that by running their engines, they are wasting fuel and potentially damaging the health of the school children who may be breathing in harmful fumes. Vehicle emissions are especially harmful for kids as they breathe more rapidly than adults and therefore take in more pollution."

Be warned parents wrap up warm and switch off or face paying out even more.

Related features:

Video of the Week:

Stephanie Lowe
Family Editor

Stephanie Lowe is Family Editor at GoodTo covering all things parenting, pregnancy and more. She has over 13 years' experience as a digital journalist with a wealth of knowledge and experience when it comes to all things family and lifestyle. Stephanie lives in Kent with her husband and son, Ted. With his love of choo-choos, Hey Duggee and finger painting he keeps her on her toes.