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To think it was ok to have my engine running??!

(167 Posts)
GuinefortGrey Fri 27-May-16 10:56:31

This morning, driving through a village, I received a text that I had been waiting for and required an urgent reply. So I pulled over into space at the side of the road in order to safely read and reply. Lots of space available, so pulled in adjacent to a garden wall, so not directly outside anyone's house. I left the engine running as I sat there as I knew I would only be a couple of minutes. There are no parking restrictions, all village residents park along the road on that side.

Anyway, head down in phone, I noticed movement outside the car and saw a older lady gesturing as me, making key turning movements. Whilst trying to get my brain in gear to work out what on earth she was trying to say (for a moment I thought maybe she had locked herself out!) another younger woman knocked on my window She said "can you turn your engine off as my neighbour has a condition that is made worse by toxic fumes". To be honest I don't know if she said please or not but the tone was very snooty and immediately got my back up. I had literally been there no more than 2 minutes and was just about to leave. I said "I'm just leaving now" and the woman said "well if you ever park here again make sure you turn your engine off", to which I replied "don't worry I shan't ever stop here again now I know it's such a nice, friendly village" and she shouted "good!!!" behind me as I pulled off.

Seriously, I was not even stopped outside the older lady's cottage, but about 2 metres away next to a garden wall. I feel bad because I should have responded more politely but the woman's tone was so rude, and I immediately felt all defensive and blurted out the first things that came out of my mouth, but I still don't think I did anything "wrong" leaving my engine running for a couple of mins. AIBU??

I seem to attract these "tellings off" by random strangers 🙁 . Had a lady have a go at me for using a poo bag to pick up
after my dog a couple of years ago. Said I was polluting the environment and as we live in the countryside should just leave the dog poo for nature to take care of hmm

seeyounearertime Fri 27-May-16 11:03:46

If she's that sensitive she shouldn't live near a road, she would be out waving at you, shed be in doors with filtered air. I'd have told her balls and ignored her. But I'm a jerk. grin

MelB1992 Fri 27-May-16 11:04:50

How odd... never heard of that one before. Yeah you probably should haven't had snapped at her but no point losing sleep over it. You weren't to know her neighbour has this condition.

However, it might be worth noting I pulled over to reply to a text with my engine on once and a police officer stopped me and gave me a warning and said it was illegal to do this with engine on!?

OhMyGoddess Fri 27-May-16 11:06:02

I'd have ignored it too. Does she go out and about in a plastic bubble? Forget about it OP, YANBU.

GuinefortGrey Fri 27-May-16 11:06:16

Oh wow Mel I had no idea! Will definitely not do it again then!!

formerbabe Fri 27-May-16 11:06:56

What time in the morning was it? I get really wound up if drivers sit outside my house with the engine running at night time or early morning when I'm trying to sleep....although I wouldn't tell them to turn it off.

readytorage Fri 27-May-16 11:08:20

Yeah Mel is right, you need to shut your engine off or they can convict you for driving while using a hand held device (CU80)

bewarethewalkers Fri 27-May-16 11:09:11

Yes it's true about texting and having the engine running. The law states that the car must be stationary with the engine off.

TheWordOfBagheera Fri 27-May-16 11:11:00

Sounds like she's being OTT, unless your car's exhaust fumes are unusually smelly and sooty.

She was rude to you. You bristled and were rude back. It sounds very silly! Forget about it and move on (and don't text with your engine running again now you know!).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Fri 27-May-16 11:12:38


You were breaking the law.

GuinefortGrey Fri 27-May-16 11:13:58

Formerbabe it was 10am so not early.
Glad I posted now though as that law had totally passed me by until now. Never even thought about it!

SoupDragon Fri 27-May-16 11:14:54

Of course, you could just have said "sorry, I'm going now anyway” and everyone would have been left happy.

Kidnapped Fri 27-May-16 11:16:06

She made a request that was very easy for you to comply with 'can you turn your engine off as my neighbour has a condition that is made worse by toxic fumes?'

Could you have said 'Yes, of course' in response? And then turned it off.

That would have been the situation resolved.

But we've all done it, OP. Responded chippily to someone's tone and then they respond even more chippily to your tone and then the argument is set. Sometimes it is much easier to take the wind out of someone's sails.

carefreeeee Fri 27-May-16 11:16:50

It was wrong of her to be rude...but you should turn off the engine when parked, it's noisy and polluting. And wastes your fuel. Why leave it running??

You may not have been aware, but emissions from cars are killing about 9,000 people each year just in London alone. And a stationary car with the engine on does increase the NOx levels considerably in the surrounding area.

Also re. the dog aren't on of those that bags it and then leaves it at the side of the path - or even worse hanging from a tree are you? In that case you are definitely better just to leave it unbagged...

FlaviaAnsell Fri 27-May-16 11:18:23

I get really wound up if drivers sit outside my house with the engine running at night time or early morning when I'm trying to sleep

It's annoying at any time of day. People park in my street to go to work in the town centre. They often sit with their engines running when they come back in the evening. If I have my front windows open it's very distracting and makes it difficult to hear the TV or music.

GuinefortGrey Fri 27-May-16 11:19:14

Its All yes I realise now that I was indeed breaking the law by texting with engine still running and I totally stand corrected about that. However, that was not the focus of my AIBU smile

BitOutOfPractice Fri 27-May-16 11:19:53

Hmm. I don't know. I have a neighbour who parks alongside my house (I'm at the end of the road) and runs his engine at 6am for about 10 minutes before leaving. It's right outside my bedroom window which I like to keep open for fresh air. It regularly wakes me up

However, if I asked him to cease and desist I would hope I would do it politely and not run out like a bansee in my nightie which is what I sometimes want to do

RiverTam Fri 27-May-16 11:21:09

My mum is on a road with a school on it and come pick up she always has cars parked outside her house with their engines running, in winter for the heating, in summer for the air con. Drives her nuts.

The woman had no idea how long you were going to be parked there. You may have been one of many she's had to say this to. Just turn your engine off.

namechangeparents Fri 27-May-16 11:21:11

As well as breaking the law, it's silly. You're wasting petrol and polluting the atmosphere. I see parents at my son's old school doing this, they sit in our road for 10 minutes or more with the engine running. Turn it off, it's easy to turn back on. Cars are much more reliable these days.

GuinefortGrey Fri 27-May-16 11:21:29

No Carefree I take it home with me, every time. I am rarely seen without several poo bags swinging from my wrists grin

AlexandraEiffel Fri 27-May-16 11:22:23

Yes it irritates me when people sit with their engine on and makes where I am extra fumey. I wouldn't say anything but I would see it as not thinking about others around you. And if someone asked me to do something to make their life a bit easier that was no skin off my nose, I'd say sure and do it rather than be snippy. Doesn't hurt to just be nice, if it matters to them, it matters, so what. But it's hardly a big deal, personally I'd just move on as no one is always perfect clearly, but since you asked, there you go.

GuinefortGrey Fri 27-May-16 11:24:36

I think I'm more just annoyed with myself for getting riled up to be honest. It's a lovely morning, I was in a great mood and I don't know why I reacted the way I did! I want to go back in time and do exactly what you said kidnapped, which 9/10 would have been what I would have done anyway!

Backingvocals Fri 27-May-16 11:26:09

She was being a bit unreasonable. However, it's only now that I live in a house that opens directly onto the road, more or less (ie, no front garden) that I know how many people leave their engines running for no bloody reason at all. Especially at night -drives me barmy. It wakes me up but is also just so polluting for no reason. Obviously you were there at a reasonable time but she probably has this happening all day and night like I do so may be really fed up with it and you got her wrath when you weren't there long.

I kind of wish there was a bit of awareness raising about engines running though and how unnecessary it is.

The lady with the poo bag issue was just bats though grin

AlexandraEiffel Fri 27-May-16 11:29:42

In that case OP doubly let it go. We're all human and have bad moments. Have a brew and think no more about it

tiggytape Fri 27-May-16 11:33:32

I still don't think I did anything "wrong" leaving my engine running for a couple of mins. AIBU??
I suppose she has a point about the fumes but mostly it would be the noise that meant this is unreasonable. It is very annoying to hear a car stopped and ticking over for even a few minutes and there's really no need to do it.

It seems more like you were annoyed at being approached told off by a stranger rather than the fact that she was overly snooty or that you thought her compliant was petty. You automatically went on the defensive and could have just said "sorry" and driven off.

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