East Lancs police could hit you with fine if you defrost your car like this

Hyndburn police warn of £40 fine if you defrost your car with the engine on <i>(Image: PA)</i>
Hyndburn police warn of £40 fine if you defrost your car with the engine on (Image: PA)

East Lancashire has been hit with cold and frosty weather this week and many motorists have been left with the task of defrosting their vehicles

A spokesperson for Hyndburn Neighbourhood Police has issued a warning to anyone to anyone who defrosts their car by leaving the engine on, as they could be hit with a fine.

According to The Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) legislation, leaving your vehicle idling unnecessarily, which is when a motorist leaves a vehicle's engine running while it is stationary, is an offence.

You could be hit with a £20 fine, which could increase to £40 if it is not paid within 28 days.

They also said it heightens the risk of car theft.

A police spokesperson encouraged motorists to invest in a cover for their vehicle, in order to deal with frosty windscreens.

Not only is idling be bad for your bank balance, wasting fuel, but it's also terrible for the environment, pumping out greenhouse gases.

A spokesperson for the Hyndburn Neighbourhood Police team said: “As the weather is getting colder, and you are defrosting your vehicle in the morning, please be aware of the following.

“Do not leave your vehicle engine running as this will lead car theft.

“Leaving your vehicle idling is an offence against the road traffic vehicle emissions legislation you may get a fixed penalty

“The best way to deal with frost is it to buy a cover for your vehicle.”

According to the RAC, Idling increases the amount of exhaust fumes in the air.

A spokesperson said: “These fumes contain a number of harmful gasses including carbon dioxide, which is bad for the environment and contributes towards climate change, as well as a range of other harmful gasses including nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons which are linked to asthma and other lung diseases.

“Diesel vehicles are thought to be one of the biggest contributors to the problem.”

Earlier this week the UK Health Security Agency issued an amber cold-health alert for the health sector covering the north west of England, which is in place until December 5, at 12pm.

With an amber alert, “significant impacts” are said to be probable across the health and social care sector due to the cold weather.

This may lead to an increase in health issues for those aged 65 and above or those with underlying health conditions.