Unattended Running Car Law Doesn’t Say Anything About Remote Starters
There's been some discussion lately on social media after the Prosser Police Department, and others, have posted reminders about the state law that reportedly forbids a motorist from leaving their car running with nobody inside.
Well, there is a statute on the state books that spells it out. It's RCW 46.612.600. IF you want to read it, click here.
However, after skimming through this, and other related statutes, it's pretty clear there's nothing on there about remote starters. The law says you're not allowed to leave an unattended vehicle running. But it says nothing about a locked vehicle that utilizes such features.
Whether it came with the vehicle, or was installed after market, it appears there's nothing to keep you from using a remote starter to fire up the vehicle. The doors remain locked, while the engine warms things up.
Most remote starters utilize the key fob, in our case with wife's car, you press the 'off' button 3 times in succession, and the engine fires. Previously we had an after market starter installed in her other car, same deal.
Now are they legal? According to the website lifewire.com., the use of such starters is NOT illegal themselves, but whether you can leave a vehicle running unattended. Lifewire says it depends upon your state law. And, most people utilize these when the vehicle is in their own driveway in the morning, or perhaps the parking lot at work at the end of the day.
So, in our opinion, we're going to keep utilizing the remote starter when we see fit. Would prove to be an interesting test case. The reason for the law is officials fear somehow an unattended car will slip into gear or otherwise engage and possibly hurt someone or property, or it could be stolen. Well, that's why it's locked when you use a remote starter.
And if a vehicle 'slips' into gear by itself, it's got some SERIOUS issues that would have likely been detected long ago in a recall.