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From https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/cars-should-be-banned-ne...

Quote:

Professor Paul Cosford, director for health protection and medical director of PHE, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m a doctor, I see a figure of 35,000 to 40,000 people each year dying as a result of the harm that is caused by air pollution.

“And what I also see is that the technologies are available, the things that we need to do we know about, so this is a matter of how we take this issue as seriously as we need to and how we move the technologies and the planning and all of that into reality so we actually deal with this problem for us and for future generations.”

Asked about a proposal to ban cars from the school run, he said: “I do think that if we consider this to be an issue of future generations, for our children, let’s have a generation of children brought up free from the scourge and the harms of air pollution.

“And that does then take you to ‘What can we do about making sure schools are at least as clean as possible?’

“We should stop idling outside schools, we should make sure that children can walk or cycle to school, and we should make sure that schools work with their parents about how they can do their best for this.”

Calling for a culture change, he said: “If we were having a conversation about 30,000 people dying each year because of a polluted water supply, I think we would have a very different conversation. It would be about ‘What do we need to do now and how quickly can we do it?’.”

Edit: Also seen this article from The Independent about shipping's toxic fumes, though that's "only" 3000 early deaths: https://www.independent.co.uk/environment/ship-air-pollution-deaths-uk-a...

33 comments

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Also on the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47520848

(though the BBC misses out the bit about cycling/walking to school)

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Natrix [54 posts] 2 months ago
6 likes

ha, ha, can't even stop the school run mums from parking on double yellow lines and stopping on the yellow zig zags so can't see this being enforced...........

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
11 likes
HawkinsPeter wrote:

Also on the BBC: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-47520848

(though the BBC misses out the bit about cycling/walking to school)

'Schools should have "no idling zones"'.

Great.  Another law that no one can afford to enforce.  As such, it will be completely ignored.

Because well, you know ... 'Labour overspent so austerity is the Tories just cleaning up Labour's mess'.  No money for police or council to go to every school.  

Fast forward six months to a year, and a father who takes his children to school by bicycle will remonstrate with one of the mothers sitting in a Lexus SUV with her engine ticking over.  The woman - complete with orange tan and tramp stamp - will get out and threaten to punch the cyclist.  There will be a parent there who will record the altercation on her Samsung phone.

Two days later, the video will be on the Daily Mail website.  Scroll down to the comments. 

  1. 'Cyclist's think they own the fück1ng road'
  2. 'When they pay road tax, they can start to complain'
  3. 'Opens his mouth to me like that and I'll put him in A&E'
  4. 'Isnt he brave, taking on a single mother like that?'
  5. 'Unless this government does something to stop these lycra vigilante's..'
  6. 'Maybe he should learn what a red light means before giving lesson's to other's'
  7. 'Cyclist's are road lice and their they're worse enemy!'
  8. 'I'd of called the police on the entitled wanker'

And so on and so forth.  

Plus ça change, mes amis.  

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ktache [1506 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes

There is a case for actually enforcing existing mobile phone legislation.  We all know that a large percentage of those waiting motorists will have their faces buried in a smartphone, and it is very simple, if your engine is on you are driving.  I'm guessing it's the same at schools, I know that during the morning school run, a significant minority of parents will sit in traffic on their phones with their children in the car, and those waiting around train stations, it's almost universal.

Now, if only someone could explain this to those strictly law abiding black cab drivers in their extreemly clean and efficient diesels.

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
8 likes
Natrix wrote:

ha, ha, can't even stop the school run mums from parking on double yellow lines and stopping on the yellow zig zags so can't see this being enforced...........

It'd be trivially easy to enforce this if there was the political will.

My favourite solution would be to enable kids/teachers to submit photos/videos of poorly parked/idling vehicles to a parking authority and receive some kind of reward for each one that leads to a successful prosecution/fine. It would literally pay for itself.

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
7 likes

'"...I’m a doctor, I see a figure of 35,000 to 40,000 people each year dying as a result of the harm that is caused by air pollution"'.

Erm, I think you'll find that it's the cycle lanes that cause all of that pollution, mate.  Here... this bloke can help you to correct your errors: 

http://www.robertwinston.org.uk/contact/

More seriously, who thinks that this has a chance of happening? 

Britain is currently the most right-wing country in Europe, and one of the defining charateristics of that ideology is short-termism.   They're not going to spend money for coppers or council officials to go and fine drivers, because let's face it, when the real climate damage hits, the tories currently in their fifties and sixties will be long gone. 

And for the moment, the increasingly common extreme weather events are fine, because with enough money, they can shield themselves from their effects.  

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
Legs_Eleven_Worcester wrote:

'"...I’m a doctor, I see a figure of 35,000 to 40,000 people each year dying as a result of the harm that is caused by air pollution"'.

Erm, I think you'll find that it's the cycle lanes that cause all of that pollution, mate.  Here... this bloke can help you to correct your errors: 

http://www.robertwinston.org.uk/contact/

More seriously, who thinks that this has a chance of happening? 

Britain is currently the most right-wing country in Europe, and one of the defining charateristics of that ideology is short-termism.   They're not going to spend money for coppers or council officials to go and fine drivers, because let's face it, when the real climate damage hits, the tories currently in their fifties and sixties will be long gone. 

And for the moment, the increasingly common extreme weather events are fine, because with enough money, they can shield themselves from their effects.  

Hmmm, the cynicism is strong with this one.

Sometimes the only way to get a major change is to wait for the old people to die off.

Alternatively, we could stop voting for the twats that maintain the status quo (although if voting could change things, they'd make it illegal).

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BehindTheBikesheds [3069 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

How about we go the whole hog, motorvehicles should be banned from being near people in built up areas and restricted to 'motor'ways.
Special dispensation for less able, access to certain areas during special times ... let's call this a 'Space protection order' which ensures the safety of everyone outside of a steel cage and who doesn't have a powered motor over the current pedalec limit.

Problem solved, it's not where motors are to be banned, but banned everywhere except some narrow strips of tarmac they can use and at what times.

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Tbike [2 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

I'm think traffic wardens in Wetminster are able to issue fines for idling so presumably this could happen all over the UK. I would have thought it woud be quite a good revenue generating scheme for coucils too. 

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

How about we go the whole hog, motorvehicles should be banned from being near people in built up areas and restricted to 'motor'ways. Special dispensation for less able, access to certain areas during special times ... let's call this a 'Space protection order' which ensures the safety of everyone outside of a steel cage and who doesn't have a powered motor over the current pedalec limit. Problem solved, it's not where motors are to be banned, but banned everywhere except some narrow strips of tarmac they can use and at what times.

As much as I'd enjoy that, I suspect that a few people might against such a move - they'd blame lack of replacement infrastructure etc.

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mike the bike [1196 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

 

 "...... Britain is currently the most right-wing country in Europe, and one of the defining charateristics of that ideology is short-termism......"

I was going to reply with a list of Europe's more right-wing nations, how to spot if you live in such a place and a diatribe about the need for better spelling but then I thought sod it.  

 

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kil0ran [1410 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

I just don't get the idling thing. There's a bloke who drops his kid at one of the after-school clubs my son goes to and then sits outside with the engine idling for an hour (on his phone of course). And it's an SLK 300 so not exactly frugal on the petrol. It's not like you need the engine running to power the entertainment system or heated seats is it?

The difficulty with exclusion zones around schools is enforcement and exceptions. Obvs disabled children have to be driven in and they won't necessarily be brought in the same car each time. And schools are in residential areas so residents need access. As do delivery drivers. The solution is probably a community approach run by the kids themselves but that would end up falling foul of being accused of being politicising schoolchildren.

 

 

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
mike the bike wrote:

 

 "...... Britain is currently the most right-wing country in Europe, and one of the defining charateristics of that ideology is short-termism......"

I was going to reply with a list of Europe's more right-wing nations, how to spot if you live in such a place and a diatribe about the need for better spelling but then I thought sod it.  

 

Smart move.

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maviczap [329 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
kil0ran wrote:

I just don't get the idling thing. There's a bloke who drops his kid at one of the after-school clubs my son goes to and then sits outside with the engine idling for an hour (on his phone of course). And it's an SLK 300 so not exactly frugal on the petrol. It's not like you need the engine running to power the entertainment system or heated seats is it

With respect if they can afford an SLK300 they aren't worried about the cost of fuel.

I'm sorry I'm guilty of doing the school run, but I drop my daughter off away from her school, so she walks the last bit. The road to her school is too busy for her to ride to school, too many nutters on their daily commute. There's no bus now, the bus company stopped the one she could have caught.

In our town they could run a bus from both ends of town to the school and pick up loads of kids who get dropped off by their parents inside the school gates, including my daughter, reducing the traffic and pollution at peak times.

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

Here's another bit of bad news about air quality: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/air-pollution-smoking-deaths-c...

Professor Thomas Munzel wrote:

To put this into perspective, this means that air pollution causes more extra deaths a year than tobacco smoking, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates was responsible for an extra 7.2 million deaths in 2015

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srchar [1332 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes

There's already a "ban" on idling in the City of London.  It is impossible to enforce, so it isn't.

Automated start-stop systems should be legislated by government for all vehicles. They are cheap and would be much more effective at reducing localised pollution hotspots than easily-cheated general emissions standards.

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
srchar wrote:

There's already a "ban" on idling in the City of London.  It is impossible to enforce, so it isn't.

Automated start-stop systems should be legislated by government for all vehicles. They are cheap and would be much more effective at reducing localised pollution hotspots than easily-cheated general emissions standards.

Again - it's easy to enforce. Either produce a phone app that kids can use to report idling/parked vehicles or give a bit of extra cash to "lollipop" men/women to report repeat offenders.

The thing is that there are lots of people around schools at two specific times of day, so you just need to task some of them to catch the miscreants or send along a copper at the relevant time.

The truth is that politics is a shell-game and they don't want you to look at what is happening in front of your nose (much better to suck air through your teeth and complain about the Irish backstop).

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes
srchar wrote:

There's already a "ban" on idling in the City of London.  It is impossible to enforce, so it isn't.

Well, no.  It's not 'impossible to enforce'.  It would be difficult and it would be politically very unwise, but it is not impossible.

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LastBoyScout [574 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

One of the roads closest to my daughter's school has 2 signs at the junction saying:

"Private Road

No Parking

No Turning"

Another has marked bays and the signs say:

"Resident Permit Holders Only".

Neither set of signs has stopped any parent that feels like it from parking in either road in order to drop off the kids, even though there are other unrestricted roads near by.

And I'm using "parking" in the loosest possible sense - often, it's more like "abandoned".

For the record, we walk to/from school most of the time, unless dropping off on the way to somewhere (in which case we're going to drive past the school anyway) or the weather is truly foul.

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
ktache wrote:

There is a case for actually enforcing existing mobile phone legislation.  We all know that a large percentage of those waiting motorists will have their faces buried in a smartphone, and it is very simple, if your engine is on you are driving. 

I've always wondered - not being au fait with mobile technology - whether it would be possible to tell if a driver has made a call or used data on a smartphone, whilst the vehicle's engine is switched on.  

If it does, then that driver should get thirty working days to explain why he was doing so.  A suitable explanation would be danger to life or property.  

Once that thirty days is past, his licence is suspended for two years, with no possibility of appeal or getting it back for 'hardship'. 

Ah, well.  I can dream.  

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
3 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

One of the roads closest to my daughter's school has 2 signs at the junction saying:

"Private Road

No Parking

No Turning"

Another has marked bays and the signs say:

"Resident Permit Holders Only".

Neither set of signs has stopped any parent that feels like it from parking in either road in order to drop off the kids, even though there are other unrestricted roads near by.

Because they can.  And because if they get fined, they'd be in a Daily Mail article, complete with mournful 'hard done to' face as they hold the fine up in front of them.   The 'journalist' and the commentators would rage about 'the war on the motorist', and the council would cancel the fine.  

And so it goes on.  

 

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
1 like
Legs_Eleven_Worcester wrote:
ktache wrote:

There is a case for actually enforcing existing mobile phone legislation.  We all know that a large percentage of those waiting motorists will have their faces buried in a smartphone, and it is very simple, if your engine is on you are driving. 

I've always wondered - not being au fait with mobile technology - whether it would be possible to tell if a driver has made a call or used data on a smartphone, whilst the vehicle's engine is switched on.  

If it does, then that driver should get thirty working days to explain why he was doing so.  A suitable explanation would be danger to life or property.  

Once that thirty days is past, his licence is suspended for two years, with no possibility of appeal or getting it back for 'hardship'. 

Ah, well.  I can dream.  

The difficulty is proving that the person driving at the time was also the person using the phone. Generally, this requires a witness or video evidence.

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
HawkinsPeter wrote:
Legs_Eleven_Worcester wrote:
ktache wrote:

There is a case for actually enforcing existing mobile phone legislation.  We all know that a large percentage of those waiting motorists will have their faces buried in a smartphone, and it is very simple, if your engine is on you are driving. 

I've always wondered - not being au fait with mobile technology - whether it would be possible to tell if a driver has made a call or used data on a smartphone, whilst the vehicle's engine is switched on.  

If it does, then that driver should get thirty working days to explain why he was doing so.  A suitable explanation would be danger to life or property.  

Once that thirty days is past, his licence is suspended for two years, with no possibility of appeal or getting it back for 'hardship'. 

Ah, well.  I can dream.  

The difficulty is proving that the person driving at the time was also the person using the phone. Generally, this requires a witness or video evidence.

Yeah, that was what I meant.  Is it possible to tell that the call did not just come from the interior of the vehicle, but from the driver's seat? 

Probably not.  

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alansmurphy [2162 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Not. A bit like Strava won't know which way you're facing on your bike...

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hawkinspeter [3502 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes
Legs_Eleven_Worcester wrote:
HawkinsPeter wrote:
Legs_Eleven_Worcester wrote:
ktache wrote:

There is a case for actually enforcing existing mobile phone legislation.  We all know that a large percentage of those waiting motorists will have their faces buried in a smartphone, and it is very simple, if your engine is on you are driving. 

I've always wondered - not being au fait with mobile technology - whether it would be possible to tell if a driver has made a call or used data on a smartphone, whilst the vehicle's engine is switched on.  

If it does, then that driver should get thirty working days to explain why he was doing so.  A suitable explanation would be danger to life or property.  

Once that thirty days is past, his licence is suspended for two years, with no possibility of appeal or getting it back for 'hardship'. 

Ah, well.  I can dream.  

The difficulty is proving that the person driving at the time was also the person using the phone. Generally, this requires a witness or video evidence.

Yeah, that was what I meant.  Is it possible to tell that the call did not just come from the interior of the vehicle, but from the driver's seat? 

Probably not.  

Even if it came from the driver's seat, you'd still have to prove that they were holding the phone and not using it via a bluetooth handsfree device.

However, I don't think you can reliably determine the location of a phone to that level of accuracy.

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srchar [1332 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Given that it's already proven that having a conversation on the phone, even hands-free (and even just listening to someone else's phone conversation) impairs similarly to a few pints of lager, there's good reason to simply ban voice conversations on mobile phones in cars altogether. I already hang up on Mrs Srchar if she calls me while driving; payback for her refusing to speak to me if I don't wear a helmet... actually, not wearing a helmet would obviate the need to hang up...  1

If a call is that important, pull over.

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ktache [1506 posts] 2 months ago
5 likes

The arsehole that crushed 8 people to death on the M1, using his Fed Ex artic, had been on a handsfree call for over an hour.  He didn't even brake.

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Legs_Eleven_Wor... [645 posts] 2 months ago
4 likes
maviczap wrote:
kil0ran wrote:

I just don't get the idling thing. There's a bloke who drops his kid at one of the after-school clubs my son goes to and then sits outside with the engine idling for an hour (on his phone of course). And it's an SLK 300 so not exactly frugal on the petrol. It's not like you need the engine running to power the entertainment system or heated seats is it

With respect if they can afford an SLK300 they aren't worried about the cost of fuel.

And this is another reason why a 'maximum' fine of £200 for using a mobile phone, is not a deterrent.  I'd like to see a system where a first offence of using a mobile telephone incurs an automatic (and non-discretionary) custodial sentence of one year, a ten-year-ban, and a fine of 5% of one's gross annual salary.   

This would require a large investment in manpower of course.  

I guarantee you that within six months, mobile phone use at the wheel would be at less than 1%.

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freespirit1 [283 posts] 2 months ago
2 likes

For mobile phone use, how about removal of thumbs as a punishment?

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Jetmans Dad [153 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

The problem with the current laws is not that the £200 fine is not a deterrent, it is that drivers don't think they are going to get caught. You could make the fine £3,000, but drivers will continue to do it as long as they expect to be able to get away with it. 

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