LAST Friday I was outside a school and a mother was sitting in her car with her engine running.

After a few minutes I couldn’t bear for this to continue so I plucked up courage and tapped on her window and asked her to turn off her engine.

Fortunately she was polite, although clearly unaware of the harm she was doing, and did turn off her engine.

In recent months I have seen many cars on the town’s streets parked with their engines running and some for 15 minutes or more.

When I have had the courage to ask people to turn their engines off they generally are OK about it, but I have had abuse.

UNICEF recently published a study that showed that children are particularly exposed to harmful particles during the school run.

On a public road, it is illegal to sit in your car whilst keeping the engine running within the UK.

The Highway Code states: ‘You must not leave a parked vehicle unattended with the engine running or leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road’.

If you are guilty of leaving your engine running think of the impact on children’s health.

Joe Godden Via email