Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Do people really need to be TOLD not to…

Leave their cars idling in the street?

Well, yes, it seems that some are so thick they DO need to be told…

Police are warning motorists to take care when defrosting cars on cold winter mornings.

Officers say they have received numerous reports of attempted thefts of vehicles which have been left running to defrost.

They are reminding drivers to be vigilant and are urging them never to leave cars unattended.

A Police Scotland statement reads: “Opportunist thieves operate in residential areas on frosty mornings looking for cars left unattended with the engine running. It takes a matter of seconds for someone to jump in and drive off.

Drivers warned about leaving cars to defrost after rise in attempted thefts

I find it hard to believe, but as I walk most place now, can confirm the shocking number of cars I pass which are left idling in the street, with no driver nearby, or even in sight sometimes.

I’m pretty sure not many of them (more likely none) are fitted with systems that allow the key to be removed to allow ‘warm up’, and will kill the engine if any of the controls are operated before the key is inserted.

That said, I do remember reading of one Mercedes owner who WAS fined for this some years ago even though his car was secured by an automatic system so it could not be entered or driven. A passing police officer noticed the exhaust, and would not accept that the car was secure/undrivable, and issued a £30 fixed penalty notice when the owner/driver refused to accept that his car was not secure and had been left that way in the street with the engine running.

I wonder what he would have done with one of my cars, fitted with a fuel powered heater that would start on a timer, and have the car nice and toasty warm for you. It had an exhaust! But the car engine wasn’t needed.

It’s got to be on a stupidity par with the folk I see pull up at the kerb and jump out of their car and run into shops, leaving the engine running. On the other hand, I’ve yet to see any of them lose their car as some passing opportunist jumps in as soon as they get into the shop, and drives their car away.

I’ve always thought about trying it, but I’d prefer not to face the consequences.

Anyway, this pic made me laugh, supposedly and example.

Frosty Car Theft

Frosty Car Theft

Clearly NOT a frosty morning, look at the rest of the cars in the pic!

Manchester police did a bit better…

Operation Frosty Ice Bandits

Operation Frosty Ice Bandits

I do like the ‘Ice Bandits’ reference.

Then there’s the law

What surprises me is the fact that this story has advice from the police, but fails to mention that it is an offence to leave a vehicle with the engine running while unattended.

Stationary idling is an offence under section 42 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

The Act enforces rule 123 of the Highway Code, which states: “You must not leave a vehicle’s engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.”

Doing this can incur a fixed-penalty fine under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002. Doubled if unpaid within a given time frame.

I also note that a driver who left a car parked on the road unattended, running, with the keys in the ignition was committing an offence of ‘quitting’.

The offence is against S42 of the RTA 1988.

This section deals with Construction & Use offences.

Quitting is dealt with by Regulation 107(1) of The Road Vehicles (Constriction and Use) Regulation 1986 (SI 1986/1078 ).

And let’s  not forget Glasgow’s by-law on idling, which will get you a fine even if you are in the vehicle and doing so unnecessarily.

I’ve noted that the council’s own web site has (or had) a section that gave the number of such fines issued, so it does happen.

No Idling

No Idling

Update

It took them TEN DAYS, but at least one of our local media sources eventually picked up on this warning.

Having to de-ice your car during the cold winter months is a massive bugbear for many motorists.

It’s usually the same routine, you wake up in the morning and realise your windscreen is thick with ice. So you pop the engine on, turn up the heating full blast and head back into the house while your vehicle defrosts.

It’s a common thing to do, but not many people know that it’s actually illegal.

Leaving your car unattended is against the law as drivers are expected to always be in control of their car while the engine is running, even when defrosting, reports Plymouth Live.

A police spokesman explained: “Anyone who needs to defrost their vehicle must ensure they stay with it and don’t leave it unattended with the keys inside.

“Leaving the engine running to ‘warm up’ during the winter months not only risks having the vehicle stolen, it’s against the law.

“Don’t make it easy for opportunist thieves because they don’t even have to go to the trouble of breaking into your vehicle if you have left it running for them.

“Insurance companies may not pay out if a vehicle is stolen in this way.”

Police have reported a rise in ‘frosting’ in recent years, which means having your car stolen when you leave the keys in the ignition to heat it up.

Here’s why it’s illegal if you leave your car running to defrost

I’m tempted to suggest that people would be more inclined to pay attention to the fact that far from “may not pay out”, their insurers will not pay out if they are daft enough to leave their cars unattended with the keys in (as against this being illegal).

But, nowadays they’re probably not likely to bother, as they’ll probably be happy to go whining to the media, or onto social media, and complain about their ‘useless insurers making up a reason not to pay out’ on their claim.

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09/01/2019 - Posted by | Civilian, Lost, Transport | , ,

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