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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 11-28-2004, 11:33 PM   #1
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Is it legal to leave car running with no one inside it? For defrosting purposes

Hi everyone,

Because of the coming winter and the fact that it's colder and colder out, I have come across a question I wanted to get clear. Usually, in the morning i start up my car and sit inside waiting for the car to warm up and the windshield to defrost, it's cold as hell, and I don't like just sitting around for 5 mins... So, one time I started my car, and turned on the usual heating stuff, and detached my keyless entry remote from my keychain. So, I got out of the car and went back into the house, and used the remote to lock my doors. I thought it was a brilliant idea because then my car can be nice and heated when I get back there in like 5 mins. One of my friends was like "hmm you're not allowed to do that..." so that's why i'm questioning the legality of doing this. Noone's in my car when it's on, the car IS locked, ebrake and stuff is on so the car doesn't roll or anything... It's just so I don't have to wait while my car heats...

Is this legal? Am I allowed to do this?
I'd really like to know, it'd save me so much trouble, thanks!
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Old 11-29-2004, 01:03 AM   #2
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you would think so what with remote startes and all
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Old 11-29-2004, 01:29 AM   #3
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yea i know
that's what i would think too

but would like some confirmation on that
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Old 11-29-2004, 01:32 AM   #4
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i don't think it is,
i remember someone started a thread on this a loooong time ago,
you have to be by or in your car when it's started.

well atleast i think so...
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Old 11-29-2004, 03:36 AM   #5
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I believe it is perfectly legal in BC, but not in Manitoba.
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Old 11-29-2004, 04:07 AM   #6
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that sounds backwards to me...seeing as places like winnipeg have killer winters, that is usually where most remote starter sales are...all the people in bc that aren't in the interior that are bitching about sitting in a cold car for a few mins, quit being a wuss and think how someone in ottawa in the same situation is going to feel in a month. BC is nothing compared the the East.

it is fine to leave your car running as long as it is locked i believe. but i think it IS illegal to jump out of yuor car for a sec while it is running to return a movie at rogers or blockbuster or some other such store.

not sure though.
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Old 11-29-2004, 08:59 AM   #7
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No problem with doing this as long as the car is locked up or secured to prevent it being stolen in some other manner.
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:39 AM   #8
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I remember hearing about this a while back, but it had nothing to do with the legalities of the issue. It had more to do with, ICBC coverage on the vehicle had your vehicle been stolen during that period it was warming up.
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:55 AM   #9
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Leaving parked vehicle

191 (1) A motor vehicle must be equipped with a lock or other device to prevent the unauthorized use of the motor vehicle.

(2) A driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has

(a) locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use, and

(b) if the motor vehicle is standing on a grade, turned the front wheels of the vehicle to the curb or side of the highway.
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Old 11-29-2004, 11:58 AM   #10
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There is a charge for leaving a car insecure ( Leaving parked vehicle
191 (1) A motor vehicle must be equipped with a lock or other device to prevent the unauthorized use of the motor vehicle.
(2) A driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has
(a) locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use, and
(b) if the motor vehicle is standing on a grade, turned the front wheels of the vehicle to the curb or side of the highway.and running.)
Although locking it helps we have been successful in prosecuting people for this even with the car locked, as it is too easy to steal by breaking the glass. Remote starters are different, if installed properly, in that they require the keys to be inserted and the ignition turned on. If this is not done the car will stop, not to mention the steering wheel would or should remain locked without the key.
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Old 11-29-2004, 01:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by skidmark
Leaving parked vehicle

191 (1) A motor vehicle must be equipped with a lock or other device to prevent the unauthorized use of the motor vehicle.

(2) A driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has

(a) locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use
What I read from this is that, unless there is case law to the contrary, the fact that an ignition requires a key and the key isn't in the ignition is enough to comply with this section.

Leaving a car on and locked seems to conform with the requirements. If prosecutions on this section have been successful, it must be for some outstanding reason.
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Old 11-29-2004, 02:41 PM   #12
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I would agree as long as a key is required to turn the ignition. If it is broken or inoperable or the car can be operated with out a key, I would say the section applies.

It would be up to a JP to decide if the fact that no key was there is sufficient to satisfy this or not. Unfortunately this often changes from one JP to another, they all interpret the act differently.
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Old 11-30-2004, 02:27 AM   #13
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hmm thanks for the input

didn't really think about someone breaking the glass to steal my car... good point there... since my key would be in the car

guess ill just have to do it the old fashioned way and sit and wait...

thanks!
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Old 11-30-2004, 04:41 AM   #14
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pretty soon you will be craping ice off your windows while the car warms up
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Old 11-30-2004, 05:00 PM   #15
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crap... really??? I guess I'll stop parking my car on the side of the road, aiming my lights, and walk down the road to check them~~
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Old 12-02-2004, 10:03 AM   #16
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why does your car need to warm up? not fuel injected?
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Old 12-02-2004, 03:22 PM   #17
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park in garage..hehe and use autostart..
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:25 PM   #18
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yay for ruining engines.....

idling is for idiots
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Old 12-06-2004, 08:13 PM   #19
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park in garage..hehe and use autostart..
carbon monoxide lol
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Old 12-06-2004, 11:31 PM   #20
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not if you have proper ventilation
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Old 12-13-2004, 07:29 PM   #21
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Quote:
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why does your car need to warm up? not fuel injected?
ice on windows
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:12 AM   #22
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ice on windows
your engine scrapes the ice off your windows?
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Old 12-14-2004, 09:33 PM   #23
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Our old impalla wouldnt go into gear untill its warmed up. We just let it idle for 10mins before we'd drive it anywhere.
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Old 12-15-2004, 08:14 PM   #24
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Quote:
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your engine scrapes the ice off your windows?
Warming the engine up with the heater on defrosts cthe car, preventing the need for scraping.
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Old 12-15-2010, 11:38 AM   #25
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Hey guys,

Sorry for resurrecting this thread back up but I just needed confirmation.

Yesterday night I remote started my vehicle from inside the house. 10 minutes later I see a cop car parked directly beside my car. I disable my car from inside the house and walk out to see what was going on.

He asked me if it was my car and if I knew it was on. I told him I remote started the vehicle from inside the house to warm up the car before I headed off. I told him it was a remote starter that was added to my car. He then asked me for my drivers license and told me that it was illegal to remote start a vehicle and leave it unattended. I go back inside while he does he thing and wait.

5 minutes later he knocks on the door and hands me the ticket. I tried to reason with him, telling him my car is equipped with an immobilizer on top of the remote start. If anyone were to try and enter the car, the engine will disable.

His only response was, it's not even that cold for the need of remote start...

End of my vent...
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