Turn your engine off… pretty please and thank you

Is it ever acceptable to ask someone to turn off their engine if they are not moving? Or am I asking to be punched in the face?

I realise no one likes to be told what to do, and I’m trying to avoid being the preachy type. But really, on my run yesterday I counted three vehicles that were parked up with their engines running. If they don’t care about the air we’re breathing or their generous contribution to global warming, surely they must care about their money?! Apparently if you are not moving for 5-10 seconds it’s more economical to switch your engine off.

So can I knock on someone’s window and ask?

Would there ever be a valid reason to leave it running? If you’ve got it on to keep warm then nip into the nearest shop. They blast out so much hot air I assume they’re trying to grow their own tropical forest. Cheers for the reforestation but I don’t think the city streets is where the jungle is most needed.

In true British style, I gave the drivers a glare but decided against confrontation just yet. Until I pluck up the courage I will just hope they stumble across this blog post I’m hiding behind. 



While I was working in my flat one morning this week, I could hear an engine running outside. After a few minutes it didn’t stop so I looked out the window, and a big van was parked up. I could see that the passenger was reading a newspaper and the driver filling out forms. I was debating whether to go down and say something, thinking as usual, that I probably wouldn’t and would hope that they would go away quickly. But after another five minutes the pointless emissions were becoming too annoying, and I wondered if they needed their engine to be on for anything, or if they just weren’t thinking. So I plucked up my courage and headed down. I was polite and asked them if their engine needed to be on. Before even answering, the driver had turned it off and apologised. I did make a point of saying it wasn’t for the noise but the pollution that I was asking, as it struck me then, that maybe it isn’t that they don’t care about polluting, it seemed like they just hadn’t thought about it.

I wondered if this would have any impact on their attitude to having their engines on generally, but I was trying not to kid myself too much. But happily, the next day when I left the flat, I saw that the van was back, the driver in his seat, and I hadn’t heard the engine all morning. Small win.

One thought on “Turn your engine off… pretty please and thank you

Add yours

  1. I have dared once to confront someone… but it was a bit scary, so I’m thinking of printing off your sign to pop under their windscreen – or will that create more pollution as they chuck it in the street! Maybe a plastic sticker that doesn’t come off! And then you start to fantasize, a sign for someone who’s chucking their rubbish out of the window/who’s parked in the disabled bay as it’s too far to walk from the free parking spot to the letter box, who’s parked on the pavement as you walk in the street to get past them… I need a general rant sign! ” How’s my parking today?” with a tick list.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: