Law makes it illegal to leave running cars unattended

Law makes it illegal to leave running cars unattended (Image 1)

Authorities are once again reminding drivers to park smart in an effort to reduce the number of vehicle break-ins and thefts during the winter months.

“A lot of people steal cars to commit other crimes,” said Sergeant Billy Smith.

According to Sgt. Smith during the winter months more vehicles are reported stolen because many drivers start their vehicles to warm up and then leave the car unattended.

Smith told Nashville's News 2 Investigates it is not only foolish to leave a vehicle running unattended, it is also against the law.

“I'm sorry the law says you have to sit in your car while it is warming up,” he said, adding, “If the vehicle is unattended, then you are violating the law.”

Smith said that if a driver's vehicle is stolen and is then involved in an accident, the owner of the vehicle could be held responsible for the damages.

“You can be held in civil court and be held for damages,” he told Nashville's News 2 Investigates.

Authorities said that during the week of December 11 through December 17 eight out of 28 vehicles stolen in Nashville were determined to be easy targets because the keys were left inside the vehicle or made available to thieves.

Sgt. Smith also said insurance companies may be more reluctant to pay quickly or in full on stolen cars where it can be proven the keys were left inside.

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