Kabbee Founder and CEO shares his opinion on fines for drivers who don’t turn their engines off when stationary
Upon hearing about Islington Council’s decision to introduce fines for drivers who refuse to turn off their engines when stationary, my confidence in the London’s borough councils was instantly increased.
The city’s carbon levels are at an all-time high, and despite City Hall’s ambitions to reduce carbon emissions by 60% before 2025, there doesn’t seem to be too much going on – so this recent news is a good sign.
The Kabbee platform is home to over 70 of London’s best minicab fleets, all of which undergo a strict 30-point check to ensure that all drivers are acting safely and responsibly. One of the criteria is to turn engines off when stationary, to reduce carbon emissions.
Kabbee provides a ‘green’ car option, accounting for 20 percent of all minicabs that are available on the platform. Even when a green car has not been booked, if one is available, it will be sent out in place of a gas-powered vehicle, to reduce carbon emissions.
In May this year, we announced our partnership with Thriev, the UK’s first fully-electric minicab fleet – this is the future, and we’re excited to be a part of it, and to make the sustainable service available to up to 500,000 potential users, who previously wouldn’t have booked a green car.
Our fleets must support sustainability, and I speak for the majority when I say we support the fines. Just today Sharon Theochari of Airport Direct said: “As one of the biggest minicab fleets in London, sustainability is a big deal to us. We support the decision to fine drivers that don’t turn their engines off. Most of our vehicles are the latest models and benefit from having the start-stop system, so as soon as they go into neutral, the engine turns off, until they press the accelerator again.”
Our mission as an aggregator of London’s best minicab fleets is to help ‘Make Minicabs Mighty’. We are helping to strengthen the sector by promoting best practice, to make getting a minicab a pleasurable, hassle-free experience, at the best price. We also have a rating system, so minicab drivers can be rewarded for doing a good job – acting sustainably by turning engines off when stationary is a major part of that.
The top five cars that our fleets drive all have the auto start-stop systems, they are:
- Audi A6
- Citroen C3
- BMW 3-Series
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Yaris
It’s important for me to state that there are times when shutting an engine off might not be the best option, so I’m interested in understanding how councils plan to police the situation. For example, I was speaking to a driver yesterday who said: “What about during the summer when its 30 degrees, the air con won’t work”, and another said: “In the winter months, it’s not good to turn the engine off, it would be better to leave it on when we reach low or minus temperatures.”
I sincerely hope that more London councils roll out the fines, and even if they don’t, at least Islington Council’s decision is raising awareness of the simplest thing that drivers can do to reduce their impact on the environment.