Ask Trooper Steve: Is it against Florida law to leave your car keys in the ignition?

Trooper Steve answers viewer questions

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.

Trooper Steve last week answered a question from Sally, a News 6 viewer, who asked, “Is it against the law to leave your keys in the ignition no matter the reason?”

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Montiero said leaving your keys in the ignition is illegal, but not only that, it leaves you open to a lot of things — like someone breaking into your car and stealing things, or someone becoming an “unintended passenger.”

“I see this violation take place all the time,” Montiero said. “Whenever I’m at a gas station, post office or a quick run to the grocery store, there’s always that car sitting there with no one in it and the engine running. A person in charge of a motor vehicle may not permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the key.”

Montiero said there are some exceptions — emergency vehicles, some delivery vehicles, waste vehicles and fully-autonomous vehicles are exempt.

The Florida Statute can be read here.

About the Author:

Steven Montiero, better known as “Trooper Steve," joined the News 6 morning team as its Traffic Safety Expert in October 2017. A Central Florida native and decorated combat veteran, Montiero comes to the station following an eight-year assignment with the Florida Highway Patrol.