Earlier today I wrote a blog about receiving a traffic ticket for leaving your vehicle unattended while the engine is running. The question then presented itself - are remote-start vehicles at risk for receiving the same traffic ticket?

The answer is YES - and here is why - according to the Texas Transportation Code § 545.404 "An operator may not leave the vehicle unattended without: (1) stopping the engine; (2) locking the ignition; (3) removing the key from the ignition; (4) setting the parking brake effectively; and (5) if standing on a grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway."

Now - the reason you could receive a citation for this is because the law states the engine of your vehicle must be stopped; if you have remotely started your vehicle then clearly you are in violation of this. There are no ifs, ands or buts.

HOWEVER, this is most likely because law has not caught up with technology.  This code is dated back in 1995 and remote start technology was not common on vehicles.

The other question that came up because of the blog from this morning is "why do all officers and first responders leave their vehicles running when they are eating, I guess this is another case of laws that do not pertain to all?" 

After I making a few phone calls today to various law enforcement agencies I found out that first responder and law enforcement vehicles are outfitted with so many electronic devices that are imperative to their job and powered by their vehicles while they are on duty.  If they were to turn their vehicle off and leave it off for more than 10 minutes, they would need to call someone to come and jump-start their vehicle because their battery would be drained. 

So - I hope that everyone has learned something today - and I also hope that you remember that our law enforcement and our first responders are here to keep us safe - and that while every once in awhile we unfortunately come across a "bad apple" it doesn't mean that all law enforcement and first responders are bad.  There is a "bad apple" in every job - and it is a mistake to let said "bad apples" define an entire career.  I don't know about you - but personally, I - Amy Lee - wouldn't want to walk a day in the shoes of our public servants.