Is it Legal to Warm Up Your Car in Your Own Driveway in Louisiana?
On crisp Louisiana winter mornings, it's natural to want to warm up your vehicle before hitting the road. You might even have one of those fancy remotes that lets you start it from inside your house.
After all, icy windows and freezing seats aren't anyone's idea of a comfortable commute. But, here's the twist - according to the law, warming up your car in your own driveway is considered illegal in the Pelican State.
Revised Statute 32:145 — Unattended Motor Vehicles states that "no person driving or in charge of any motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the motor, locking the ignition, removing the key, and effectively setting the brake thereon, and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway."
So, starting your car and letting it idle in your driveway, even on a cold rainy morning, could technically be a violation of Louisiana law. However, this statute has been in effect since 1962, making it somewhat outdated and seemingly out of touch with the modern concept of remote car starters and modern vehicle technology.
3 Reasons for this weird regulation:
The idea behind this regulation is to prevent vehicle theft, reduce unnecessary emissions, and enhance public safety. Yet, the practical application of this law today may be more relaxed, as it's unlikely that law enforcement officers are actively patrolling neighborhoods looking for idling cars in driveways to issue citations.
It definitely depends on the Police Officer
I highly doubt there are many police officers in Louisiana patrolling to bust people for warming their cars in their driveways.
While warming up your car in your driveway may technically fall under this law, it's crucial to recognize that enforcement varies. You may find that the chances of receiving a ticket for this violation are relatively low. Nevertheless, the law remains on the books, and it's wise to be aware of its existence.
Brief Grace Period
It's also worth noting that there is a clause in the law allowing for a brief grace period of up to 25 minutes when the temperature falls below 32 degrees. This exception acknowledges the need for residents to ensure their vehicles are safe to drive in frigid conditions.
So, as you prepare for those chilly Louisiana mornings, while the law may frown upon warming up your car in your driveway, it's essential to be mindful of local regulations and exercise your own judgment regarding how to best navigate the cold while remaining in compliance with the law.
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