Police reminder: It’s illegal to leave cars running in Pennsylvania

Thinking about leaving your car running to warm it up? You might want to reconsider, police advise. Photo courtesy of The Hanover Evening Sun.

Thinking about leaving your car running to warm it up? You might want to reconsider, police advise. Photo courtesy of The Hanover Evening Sun.

Feel that nip in the air? Thinking of letting your car warm up while you get ready for the day? You might want to plan differently.

Northeastern Regional Police reminded residents on its Facebook page Friday that it’s illegal in Pennsylvania to leave your car unattended while running.

Chapter 37 of the state vehicle code section 3701 states, “No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit the vehicle to stand unattended without placing the gear shift lever in a position which under the circumstances impedes the movement of the vehicle, stopping the engine, locking the ignition in vehicles so equipped, removing the key from the ignition and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway and effectively setting the brake,” according to the Facebook post.

The department sees many people leaving their cars running so they warm up or leave it running while getting coffee at a gas station. ”

Not only is this practice illegal, but unfortunately this is a good way to have your vehicle stolen. Car thieves love this time of year and we see an increase of stolen vehicles in cold weather. Locking your vehicle while its running will not deter thieves, when all they have to do is break a window,” police said.

The lesson? Just don’t leave it running. Turn your car off, police said, and save yourself a fine, or worse.

About Rebecca Hanlon

Rebecca Hanlon is the health reporter with a religion sub beat at the York Daily Record/Sunday News. Follow her on Twitter @mrsbeccahanlon or on Facebook at facebook.com/byrebeccahanlon.
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4 Responses to Police reminder: It’s illegal to leave cars running in Pennsylvania

  1. Steven C. Johnson says:

    Sound advice…

    If you live in the drug/gang infested war zone that is York.

    Out here in the relative safety of semi-rural suburbia, I believe I will ignore that particular law.

    If the local police care to check my vehicle my driveway to see if it is running, then I would have to assume that they are over-staffed and have nothing better to do with their time than to harass private citizens on their private property

  2. garry booton says:

    I do leave my car to warm up in the mornings but only whilst I take the time to clean my windows, check my lights, and tyres. To actually go away from your car whilst the engine is running is the same as handing your car keys to a passer -by and hope they don’t steal your car.

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