Photo by 91RS. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Ouch. In an effort to clean up the air, the West Sussex Council in the UK is considering new rules that would penalize drivers who sit in traffic jams with their engines running. Police could issue £20 fines once the driver has been warned and not complied, according to the Daily Mail. The rules are expected to kick in in January and could be expanded "if it proves successful," the Mail writes. I'm guessing they mean successful with the rulemakers, because I can't see this being all that popular with drivers. People quoted in the article seem to confirm this hunch. To the rescue might come Bosch, which issued a quick press release (available after the jump) once the story broke late last week about how its start/stop technology would help drivers avoid these spot fees.

But, who should win out here? Does everyone's right to cleaner air beat out a driver's right to keep his car running? Does the argument that the catalytic converter can cool down when the engine is off - and therefore cause more pollution when the car is started up again - hold water in this context?

[Source: Daily Mail / Bosch]

PRESS RELEASE:

Bosch starts to stop motorists from standing idly by

* Local councils may fine motorists for running their engines in traffic
* Bosch start/stop system automatically switches engine off and on

It emerged recently that motorists leaving engines idling in traffic could be subject to on-the-spot fines under plans being considered by local councils that aim to reduce pollution in urban areas.

For many drivers, this will mean switching the ignition off and then on again once the traffic starts moving. For those motorists considering a new car purchase, Bosch developed a start/stop system that switches the engine off automatically when shifted into neutral at a standstill and then starts again immediately when the clutch is depressed, providing a quick and reliable start in a fraction of a second.

Bosch has worked with several manufacturers to introduce start/stop on production models – it is now standard equipment on manual transmission, four-cylinder engines BMW 1-Series (reigning World Green Car of the Year) and 3-Series models and majority of the MINI range.

In a climate of increasing fuel prices and stricter emission laws, the Bosch system reduces fuel consumption and carbon dioxide output.

About Bosch
The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services.In the areas of automotive and industrial technology as well as consumer goods and building technology, some 271,000 associates generated sales of 46.3 billion euros in fiscal 2007.The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its more than 300 subsidiary and regional companies in roughly 50 countries.This worldwide development, manufacturing, and sales network is the foundation for further growth.Each year, Bosch spends more than three billion euros for research and development, and applies for over 3,000 patents worldwide.The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering."

The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group,making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future.Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation.The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust.The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.


Additional information can be accessed at www.bosch.com.

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