Can Unoccupied Vehicle Be Left Running to Warm Up?
Every year, we hear stories about how you can get a ticket for leaving your vehicle running unoccupied to warm it up in the winter.
Washington state law technically prohibits that...but...
According to the RCW (revised code of Washington) 46.61.600:
"No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway."
According to the Tacoma News Tribune, some cities, including Spokane, have EPA ordinances that significantly reduce the amount of time a vehicle can be left running without moving, due to alleged pollution.
But what if your vehicle has a keyless remote starter?
We didn't find anything in the books about specific laws pertaining to remote starters. However, technology makes it almost impossible to steal such a vehicle.
According to autoguide.com:
"If a vehicle equipped with Extended Parking is left running with the transmission in Park and the keyfob is not present, the whole thing shuts down after just 30 minutes of idling."
A vehicle with a traditional key will shut off (most of them) after 15 minutes following remote start, and most will not drive without the key.
So, where does that leave us?
Technically, you can still get a ticket. Some state has amended their laws to allow locked remote-start vehicles to get a pass. But most law enforcement officers in our region will shall we say, usually won't pursue remote-start locked vehicles as thoroughly as those that are left unlocked while running.
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