An AIR pollution study from Belgium has revealed that traffic fumes (from engine idling etc) are causing “an epidemic of ill-health” in babies and children.

The damage it causes to little ones, including unborn babies, has lifelong consequences.

High exposure to these kinds of fumes sets the foetus on a “lifetime trajectory of chronic ill-health”. This includes heart and lung disease, diabetes, reduced intelligence, brittle bones and skin problems. That is on top of the increased risk of miscarriages and premature births.

Your vehicle’s exhaust pipe is at exactly the right height to pump toxic fumes straight into the faces of toddlers in pushchairs. Children continue to be exposed all the way to adulthood and beyond. Black carbon particles were recently found by scientists in the urine of primary school children.

Despite this, I see a selfish minority of people sitting in their cars or work vehicles with their engines running - outside houses, shops, and even schools and playparks for minutes at a time. Unless they are definitely about to move off, why on earth are they doing such a harmful thing?

If they believe they are saving fuel, they are wrong - idling for more than ten seconds uses more fuel than restarting an engine.

On a lighter note, I read recently in the Reporter about a man who jumped into an off-duty policeman’s garden while fleeing arrest (it didn’t end well for him). Then I read that he had been driving at 130mph – not so funny.

What chance would occupants of other vehicles have stood in a collision?

He is now facing jail, but his crimes remind us that the Highway Code exists to reduce injury and death.

My constituents tell me of similarly rude and dangerous behaviour from people parking selfishly in the High Street.

While it is important to remember that not all disabilities are visible, some people are parking dangerously out of sheer laziness, for example while buying fast food.

Parking restrictions are there for good reasons; I have a blind constituent who on multiple occasions could not alight safely from a taxi due to selfish parking.

I believe that the majority of folk are decent, and again it is a very small minority of inconsiderate people who spoil things.