Drivers who idle their vehicles for more than three minutes will now be stung with a £60 fine, in a move hoped to help improve air quality.
Lewisham’s cabinet gave the green light to the new fine, which will be enforced by December and cover all roads in the borough.
Councillor Joani Reid, cabinet member for safer communities, said idling has a “devastating impact” on the health of vulnerable people, including older people and children.
“Idling a completely unnecessary activity which does not benefit the driver,” she said.
“The delegated powers for enforcement of idling vehicles will further strengthen the council’s commitment to tackling air pollution.”
Enforcement officers will be able to issue penalty charges while on patrol for any car stopped in the street with its engine running.
The fines are issued if idling motorists do not turn off their engine after being asked within three minutes.
There are a number of scenarios where idling drivers won’t be fined, including if they are idling in traffic, if someone is getting out of or unloading a car, or if the driver is unable to turn the car off.
Mayor Damien Egan said: “Councillors have been out doing their own enforcement and talking to people very nicely not to idle.
The concern is when the volunteers go away, what happens?”
The income from the new fine is not expected to be “substantial,” a council report said.