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What Do You Think Of The Ban On Idling Engines?

Updated on Aug 02, 2008 – SCMP

I am responding to the claim [made by a union representative] that overheated vehicles could become time bombs (“Heatstroke fear cited in campaign against idling ban”, July 31). Idling engines are already time bombs for every man, woman and child pedestrian. Also, how about the people who have to live and work near these vehicles? In Arran Street, Mong Kok (and other places) the engines of the coaches to the mainland are constantly idling, even if there are no passengers or drivers inside. How about the people working near these vehicles? The nearby 7-Eleven does not have a door and is open to the elements. What about the health of the young people working there and the newspaper vendors and other workers? The next generation is going to have terrible health problems if this problem is not addressed and we do not see drastic improvements. We have had enough of the debates and time-wasting discussions. We need action now.

Suzanne Chung, Mong Kok

To reduce levels of air pollution in the city, the government has proposed a number of methods to solve the problem, including banning idling engines. However, this well-intentioned proposal does not take into account the real situation. For example, taxi drivers would have to restart the engines of their vehicles several times a day if idling engines were banned. This would drain their batteries. Also on a hot summer’s day, the temperature inside vehicles will rise to 40 degrees Celsius within minutes if the air conditioning has been turned off (“Heatstroke fear cited in campaign against idling ban”, July 31). This makes drivers and passengers very uncomfortable when they are left sitting in the vehicles. I think it is possible to have a win-win result, by adopting a flexible policy. Vehicles would be allowed to keep their air conditioners running during hot summer days. Also, some cars, such as taxis, could be excluded from the legislation if their engines are idling for short periods. By adopting this approach we could see an improvement in air quality and still ensure a comfortable working environment for drivers.

I. K. Li, Ngau Chi Wan

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