Renault has turned the iconic ‘lollipop’ into a tool for measuring air quality.
Renault’s new initiative called ‘Be Mindful, Don’t Idle’ is a campaign aimed at drivers waiting at school crossings – and as part of the movement, they’ve come up with an ingenious new piece of technology. ‘Lollipop’ stop signs held by school crossing guards are a common sight to see around school zones across the globe – and lo and behold, Renault has found a better use for them.
Renault’s idea to reduce pollution comes in the form of re-inventing the ‘lollipop’ sign. Air sensor technology has been fitted a thicker but mostly bog-standard stop sign, used to determine air quality at any given time. Renault urges drivers to stop idling around school zones.
These devices contain a highly accurate sensor located behind the ‘STOP’ text, and an obvious black panel which has been fitted to the centre of the sign. This panel displays the words ‘GOOD’, ‘OKAY’ and ‘POOR’ to allow children crossing the roads and parents waiting at crossings to see the quality of the air they are breathing in.
The flipside of the sign displays the PM2.5 measurement in micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3).
According to research conducted by the British Lung Foundation and Asthma UK, 8,549 school and nurseries are located in areas with ‘dangerously high’ levels of pollution, where PM2.5 (the most harmful form of air pullution) particles exceed the World Health Organisation’s reccommended 10 μg/m3 measurement.
An engine idling for one minute contributes 150 full-sized baloons-worth of emissions, and measurements taken around schools before, during and after school runs have proved that there is a drastic increase of pollutants in the air while children are getting dropped off and picked up from schools.
50.1% of of British motorists in urban areas have admitted to leaving their engines idling, and over 28% said they often left their cars idling for 6 to 10 minutes at a time.
Matt Shirley, Senior Manager of Electrfication and New Mobility at Renault UK stated that “the lollipop has been the symbol of road safety for decades. Today, safety is not just about how to cross a road, it is also about how safe the air is that our children breathe going in and out of schools on a daily basis.”
The adoption of electric vehicles is a journey, but in the meantime, it’s important that we all do our bit and don’t leave our engines running unnecessarily.Matt Shirley – Senior Manager of Electrification & New Mobility at Renault UK