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Mindful Droid: Vlog 4 - Outside the school

The Dangers of Vehicle Idling Near Schools: A Call to Action

I want to draw your attention to a pressing issue: vehicles idling near schools. As I stood near a local school, I couldn't ignore the potential risks associated with this common sight. In this short blog, we will explore the implications of idling cars near schools and the urgent need for awareness and action to protect our children's health.

Imagine this scenario: a traffic light turns red, and cars line up, engines idling. Meanwhile, children walk past these vehicles, unaware that they are inhaling toxic fumes right outside their school. It's a serious problem that demands immediate attention and change.

Michael outside a school

The Consequences of Idling Cars: When cars idle, they release harmful gases into the air, posing a direct threat to the health of children. These poisonous emissions (NO2, CO, NOx)  can have long-term effects on their developing respiratory systems, affecting astmatic sufferers like me, and similar to the case of Ella Kissi Debrah. It's crucial to understand that idling cars are not only wasting fuel but also endangering the well-being of our young ones.

However, It is worth noting that while turning off the engine is generally recommended to reduce emissions during idling, there may be certain situations where idling is necessary, such as extreme weather conditions or specific operational requirements for certain vehicles (e.g., emergency services). Assessing each situation on a case-by-case basis and promoting responsible idling practices can strike a balance between practicality and environmental considerations.

Ultimately, addressing the traffic debate around engine idling requires a multi-faceted approach involving policy measures, technological advancements, and changes in behavior. By implementing best practices tailored to local contexts, governments and communities worldwide can collectively work towards reducing unnecessary emissions and creating a more sustainable transportation ecosystem.

To address this issue, we need to create awareness and encourage better practices among car owners. This is where concept of a "mindful driving" approach with the Mindful Droid come in. This initiative aims to provide car owners with passive information about the impact of idling their vehicles near schools. By educating them about the harmful consequences of their actions, we can foster positive change.

Raising awareness is a crucial first step. We must inform both car owners and the general public about the dangers of vehicle idling near schools. Through targeted campaigns and educational STEM programs with the Mindful Droid , we can create a collective sense of responsibility and motivate individuals to make a difference.

It's Time to Take Action, and as responsible members of our community, it's our duty to protect the health and well-being of our children. Together, we can make a significant impact. Let's advocate for stricter regulations regarding idling near schools, promote alternative transportation methods, and encourage car owners to turn off their engines when parked near educational institutions.

Follow Michaels's weekly progress in developing the Mindful Droid.

Michael is an Industrial Design Engineer, Maker and winner of the Young Innovators Award 2021, with over 9 years experience working in various industry sectors. Having a problem solving background, he is always enthusiastic about finding solutions to problems that challenge everyday living. His key focus points are inclusivity, functionality with consciousness, and sustainability.