Can you leave your car running while doing errands?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions about the rules of the road every week, helping Orlando-area residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Jose asked, “It’s getting cold. Can I leave my car running while running errands?”

“This was something that I couldn’t understand when I was patrolling our Central Florida roads,” Trooper Steve said. " I would see this at locations from grocery stores to gas stations, and I would think, ‘Do you trust people this much?’"

Trooper Steve said his opinion about this question aligns with the law.

Florida Statute 316.1975 specifically makes note that drivers may not leave vehicles unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the key.

“Some will say they want to keep their car warm during the winter, but my answer to that is, ‘It’s Florida, and the cons outweigh the pros,'" Trooper Steve said.

The violation is punishable by a nonmoving violation.

“With times and technology, laws do update and this one is no exception. In the subsections of this law, exceptions are made for authorized emergency vehicles to a vehicle that is started by a remote control while the ignition, transmission and doors are locked,” Trooper Steve said.

For the full wording of the law visit the state website about statutes.

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