Ask Trooper Steve: Can I leave my car running while pumping gas?

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 Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.

Trooper Steve was asked Thanksgiving, “Can I leave my car running while pumping gas?”

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If you do, you drive him crazy while putting yourself and others potentially at risk, he said.

“There are signs everywhere around a gas pump that say, ‘Please shut off your car,’ ‘Do not smoke around it,’” Trooper Steve said.

While Trooper Steve said the chances of causing a spark at the gas station when you leave your car on are very, very slim, it’s still not safe.

“What happens when that spark happens?” he said. “Then you’ll be saying, ‘Man, I should not have done this.’”

Trooper Steve also said while the law isn’t the same as the rules posted at the gas station, it does suggest drivers shouldn’t fill their tanks with the car running.

“Nowhere in the law does it say you’re not allowed to pump gas specifically, but the law does indicate that you are not allowed to leave your vehicle running and unoccupied,” he said. “So the two coming together there pretty much says once you get out of your car, you should be shutting it off.”

He said turning off your car at the pump could also prevent a slew of unfavorable scenarios, like accidentally taking off with the gas nozzle still attached or a thief jumping in your vehicle.

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About the Authors:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.

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.