Is it okay to use a remote car starter in Wheeling? The ordinance explained


Remote car starters were a hot item this Christmas.

Many people put them on their wish list, thinking it would be nice to warm up their car before going out on cold mornings.

But Wheeling has an ordinance prohibiting leaving your vehicle running when you’re not in it. So, are remote car starters legal here?

Actually, the answer is yes.

Many new cars come with them factory-equipped, and you can also get after-market versions installed.

Deputy Chief Martin Kimball of the Wheeling Police Department says they’re fine, because they don’t make the vehicle vulnerable to theft.

“The part that gets people in trouble is when they actually go out and put their keys in the ignition and turn it on and leave it there in the street,” he said. “With the remote starters, nobody’s able to come along and steal that vehicle because there’s no key in it and they can’t engage the transmission and drive away.”

We asked if it’s okay to have two sets of keys, use one to start the car and leave it running and lock the car until you go back out to open it with your second set of keys.

He said that’s not okay. He said someone could come along, break a window, and because the keys are in the ignition, they could drive off with the car.

So remote starters are okay, warming it up with a key in the ignition is not.

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