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So let's say the scenario is people parking on a public road in close proximity to homes (no gardens or footpath between houses and road), and waiting for 10-20 minutes with their engines running.

Would those people be in breach of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (RTA), or something else, that can be explicitly referenced?

I know the Highway Code includes the following with respect to parking (at para 214) 'you MUST switch off the engine' and it references section 42 of RTA, but it is unclear to me how the two are related.

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I should have done my research properly, hopefully this will be indexed and be helpful to someone else in the future.

The specific legislation is The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 regulation 98:

Stopping of engine when stationary

98.—(1) Save as provided in paragraph (2), the driver of a vehicle shall, when the vehicle is stationary, stop the action of any machinery attached to or forming part of the vehicle so far as may be necessary for the prevention of noise.

(2) The provisions of paragraph (1) do not apply—

(a) when the vehicle is stationary owing to the necessities of traffic;

(b) so as to prevent the examination or working of the machinery where the examination is necessitated by any failure or derangement of the machinery or where the machinery is required to be worked for a purpose other than driving the vehicle; or

(c) in respect of a vehicle propelled by gas produced in plant carried on the vehicle, to such plant.

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  • I'm curious about a few questions. 1. Your question specifically asked for a law but your answer cites a regulation and calls that regulation "legislation" (which it is not). So are you equating a regulation with a law? 2. Is this a federal regulation?! 3. If so, who is responsible for enforcing it? – Alexanne Senger Nov 27 '15 at 8:32
  • @Mowzer - The subject regulation is a Statutory Instrument, which is delegated legislation (in accordance with the powers conferred to the Secretary of State for Transport in the Road Traffic Act). Does that clear things up? – R15 Nov 27 '15 at 9:10
  • Who enforces it? Are general police powers centralized at the national level in the U.K.? In the U.S. such a law would be difficult to enforce because general police powers are left to the states. In general. – Alexanne Senger Nov 27 '15 at 9:23
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    @Mowzer the UK has a completely different legal structure in this respect. There are no states and there is no federation, although Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland have bodies that create law as well. A regulation, or more specifically a statutory instrument, has force of law by virtue of the statute that authorised it. It is legislation. Indeed such Instruments are sometimes called "secondary legislation". Probably the best analogue to a Statutory Instrument would be a US Executive Order. – Calchas Nov 28 '15 at 6:22
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    @Mowzer Here is a list of current UK regulations: legislation.gov.uk/uksi. About eight are passed each day, which makes them the most significant source of UK law (although a great deal of those concern road closures, since it is illegal to stop someone travelling on a public road without a clear law approving such obstruction). – Calchas Nov 28 '15 at 6:32

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