SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA, July 18, 2018 — As the number of bus drivers who leave their vehicle engines idling at public garages before getting on the road is increasing, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been cracking down on unnecessary engine idling especially of town buses since July 2. It is a part of the city government’s efforts to curb air pollutant from automobiles.
Engine idling produces exhaust gas containing nitrogen oxides (NOx), which is the main cause of fine dust and ultrafine dust, causing air pollution. Also, leaving a car engine idling uses more fuel than stopping. Letting the engine of a motor vehicle idle for longer than ten minutes consumes 138 cc of fuel which would travel about 1.6km. It means that nearly 50 liters of fuel are wasted a year.
If a driver violates engine idling, he or she will be given a violation notice, and if he or she does again, a penalty of 50,000 won will be charged. However, 2,772 of the idling restricted areas including town bus garages are subject to a fine without notice.
The Seoul Metropolitan Government uses newly introduced thermal cameras to detect cars idling for more than two when the temperature is between 5℃ and 25℃, and those for more than five minutes if the temperature is lower than 0℃ to 5℃ and higher than 25℃ to 30℃.
Since May, the Seoul Metropolitan Government has been also conducting inspections on the exhaust gas generated from town buses to reduce air pollutant emissions. As of July, the inspection of a total of 1,039 buses out of the entire 1,558 town buses (363 diesel-fueled buses and 1,195 of CNG-fueled ones) has been completed, and 94 buses among them have been ordered to make improvements. It plans to complete the inspection for the remaining 519 buses by early August.