SINGAPORE - Fewer drivers were caught leaving the engines of their stationary or parked motor vehicles idling after the National Environment Agency (NEA) increased penalties against the offence in 2016.
But the number of offences last year were still higher compared with a decade ago, said Senior Minister of State for Environment and Water Resources Amy Khor in Parliament on Wednesday (Feb 26).
There were 2,800 cases of idling engine offences last year, down from 3,200 in 2018 and 6,400 in 2016, Dr Khor said in response to a question from Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar (Ang Mo Kio GRC).
The number of repeat offenders has also fallen from 19 cases in 2016 to only one last year.
But these figures are still higher than the 2,000 offences in 2009.
"We urge drivers to do their part to protect the health of others and reduce emissions by not leaving their engines idle when stationary," Dr Khor said.
Since 2016, motorists caught leaving their vehicle engines idling for a second or subsequent time will face a fine of $100, up from the previous $70. If the sum is not paid, the errant motorist will be liable to a maximum court fine of $5,000.
Besides raising penalties and stepping up enforcement, Dr Khor said that NEA also disseminates educational pamphlets and puts up signs to remind motorists not to leave their engines running. The regulations and penalties have also been added into the Highway Code since end-2016.
"We will continue to look at ways for more effective public education and outreach efforts," she added.