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Wednesday 22 October 2014
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Switch off engines at signals

Ashwini H S, Nov 23, 2012, DHNS :

Save Fuel

The common man is living in difficult times. Inflation is at an all-time high. Diesel and petrol rates are sky-rocketing and Bangalore has the highest fuel rates in India.

Thoughtless: Very few people actually switch off their engines to conserve petrol at traffic signals.In such a scenario, it is unfortunate to see drivers not switching off vehicle engines at red signals, which exceed 30 seconds.

Prashanth, an IT professional, says, “I would like to switch off my car engine
but I do so only after two minutes of waiting.


Even when the distance between two vehicles is really short at the signals, the vehicle behind starts honking.

That is why people do not switch off their engines. It is important to know road etiquette and that should be inculcated at a young age.”

Shylaja Sampath, a home-maker, says, “I switch off the engine when I have to wait for more than 30 seconds at any signal. But many times, there are so many vehicles ahead of mine that I don’t get a view of the timer. In such cases, I end up wasting fuel.

However, I also notice that many people are ignorant about fuel wastage. If the
government can take an initiative to educate people on this, it would
be great.”

According to the Petroleum Conservation Research Association’s (PCRA) website (2010
figures), Bangalore consumes more than 30,000 kilolitres of petrol every month. Also, when people do not switch off engines at traffic signals, heavy fumes from the vehicles can turn hazardous to one’s health.

B Nagappa, scientific officer, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board, says, “Fuel wastage at traffic signals is yet to be studied. However, it is known that the air pollution at traffic intersections is double than that elsewhere and results in health problems.

The short-term health issues are wheezing, coughing, sleeplessness, etc. The long-term effects are stamina loss, weakness, bronchitis, asthma, skin irritation and a host of other diseases.”

When there are traffic jams, engines should be switched off to save fuel.

He adds, “It is ideal if people switch off the engines when the wait at the red
signal exceeds 15 seconds. Another good reason to switch off the engine is
because when you stop at a red signal, you breathe in air that is highly polluted. By switching off the engines, you are reducing the risk.”

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