*Correction: This story was corrected to state that the law prohibiting the idling of cars in WV was repealed in 2018 and does not remain in law as previously stated.
BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) – As winter approaches and we had our first flurries of the year, people need to start warming up their cars. You may remember that it was illegal to idle your car in West Virginia, but its now legal.
Yes, believe it or not it is no longer illegal to idle your car in West Virginia. The law was repealed in early 2018, but even when the law was in effect, plenty of West Virginia residents ignored it anyway. That’s exactly what West Virginia local Samantha Garretson said.
“I mean especially since it’s in my driveway, you know, so I mean I’m not going to leave it and start it somewhere else, I mean I do it when it’s cold obviously.”Samantha Garretson
The idling car law in West Virginia originally came from article 14 of the West Virginia State constitution before it was repealed. It stated:
“No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, 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.”§17C-14-1. Unattended motor vehicle; penalty.
The law was repealed in 2018 by House bill 2612.
Even though it is legal in West Virginia, plenty of other states still have laws against idling a car. According to the Vehicle Technologies Office, as of 2019, Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have laws that regulate engine idling, but each of these states has different applications of idle reduction and various exemptions. The full map of states with some sort of idling law can be seen below.