Leaving your vehicle running unattended is illegal

This car is in the snow.
This car is in the snow.(N/A)
Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News - Winter is on the way and you may be tempted to start your vehicle and allow it to warm up before heading out in the morning. Leaving a vehicle running unattended is illegal in the state of Illinois as well as the City of Peoria.

“The reason it’s illegal is that it actually increases the auto theft statewide. An unintended running motor vehicle is the perfect opportunity for a thief to jump in your car and take it. Therefore, we have the state statute as well as the city of Peoria ordinance against it.” Said Brian Terry, the auto-theft investigator for the Peoria Police Department.

The reason that people do this with their vehicles is rooted in old-school automotive thinking. Some people believe that you must warm up your car before driving it. While this was true with older carbureted cars, that is not as accurate with modern vehicles. Today, there is not much of a mechanical reason to let your car run for 5 minutes or more before leaving.

The law does not apply to those who own vehicles with an auto-start feature. When using an auto-start, the doors remain locked and the vehicle cannot move before the key is inside it.

With modern cars, start it and wait about a minute to allow fluids to circulate and you are good to go from there.

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