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Illinois Authorities Warn Residents Against Leaving Running Vehicles Unattended as Illinois Buckles Up for a Severe Winter

In recent months, many states across the United States of America have experienced tumultuous weather conditions, with some states experiencing heavy rainstorms and brutal winds, while the others were gripped with heavy snowfall and snowstorms. One of these states is Illinois.

According to latest weather records, the state government of Illinois and weather experts across the state have warned residents to start preparing for freezing temperatures with the upcoming winter season. Although the idea of warming up your vehicle a few minutes before you head may sound irresistible during these harsh winters, residents of Illinois have been severely warned against doing this.

The Illegal Winter Activity

In the state of Illinois, individuals cannot leave a car unattended if the engine is running and the key is attached in the ignition, based on the state’s legal vehicle code. In case authorities do find an unattended, running vehicle on the streets of Illinois, authorities are legally bound to fine the owner, and in some cases, even confiscate the vehicle.

If residents of Illinois wish to warm up their cars and other vehicles before heading out, the only legal way for them to do this is by using a remote starter.

According to the state’s current law, which was implemented in the year of 2017, “an unattended motor vehicle shall not include an unattended locked motor vehicle with the engine running after being started by a remote starter system.”

Even though the law has been in effect since the year 2017, some version of the public act directing that people are not allowed to leave a running car unattended, in addition to having the key in the ignition, has existed in Illinois’ vehicle code for as long as 45 years.

Illinois is not the only state in the United States that has implemented a law like this. There are many states across the country that have specific laws against leaving running vehicles unattended.

Unattended Cars, Unsuspecting Victims 

Authorities from these states have a common request to the residents of these states: Under no circumstances should a person be granted immunity from this rule. The person driving the vehicle or the person who owns the vehicle are liable to take full responsibility of it. No individual is allowed to leave their motor vehicles unattended without making sure that the engine is off, the ignition is locked, the key is not left behind in the ignition, and that the breaks are set in place.

In addition to this, if the vehicle is parked upon a perceptible grade, the driver or the owner of the vehicle should make sure that the front wheels are to the curb or to the side of the highway. However, vehicle owners and drivers are allowed to use a remote starter system. Any vehicle found with a remote starter system will not be classified as an “unattended motor vehicle.”

Another example for this is the state of Chicago. In the state of Chicago, residents are not allowed to leave a running vehicle unattended. Leaving a vehicle unattended is a municipal code violation according to the Chicago state law. The Chicago Police Department also issued a warning to Chicago dwellers after the department received several complaints of vehicle thefts. Many unattended vehicles were targeted by criminals, with many of these stolen vehicles later being used to commit crimes.

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