Leaving your car running, unattended is against the law in Washington

PASCO, WA - As colder temperatures move into the Pacific Northwest, if you decide to warm your car up, do not leave it unattended and running. Remember, that is against Washington law.

Police officers want to remind drivers who leave their cars running and unattended could face fines or a bigger problem, car theft.

Sgt. Rigo Pruneda said Pasco Police said authorities have been very busy in the Tri-Cities responding to car break-ins. He said when the temperatures get below freezing overnight, people's wind-shields get icy and frosted over.

That's when drivers are tempted to start their car and let them warm up in the morning and go back inside to finish getting ready for work.

"What happens is people see it as an opportunity to take your vehicle, because it is insecure and it is running. So, we just want to remind everybody, if they are going to warm up the car. Please, do not leave it unattended. Stay with the vehicle," Sgt. Pruneda said.

In the state of Washington, it is against the law to leave your car running while it is unattended and you can receive a ticket.

While it is legal for drivers to warm their cars up on their own property, police recommend not doing that, because that provides thieves an opportunity to steal your car.

Sgt. Pruneda also wants to remind you to make sure you scrape off all frost or snow from all your windows before driving. Not doing do, creates blind spots. He said you can get a ticket for that too.