Is remote start legal in Chicago?

June 21st, 2020 by

Illinois Remote Start Laws and Regulations

Remote start systems continue to be a highly popular feature among consumers in new vehicles. Especially when one lives in a climate that’s not always ideal; for example, here in Chicago. Being able to warm or cool one’s vehicle to a desirable level before stepping inside is truly a breakthrough in the driving experience.

Despite the love, using a remote start system is actually illegal in several states. Where does Illinois stand on the issue? Is remote start legal in Chicago?

Remote start is legal to use in Chicago. This means that Chicago residents can feel free to make use of their remote start systems in order to enjoy optimal temperatures the moment they hop into their rides. Such a breakthrough makes driving in extreme depths of the frigid Illinois winters and humid summers much more bearable.

What does the Illinois law say regarding remote start?

According to an Illinois statute, “No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.”

This sounds like bad news for remote start systems, until one gets to the next sentence: “An unattended motor vehicle shall not include an unattended locked motor vehicle with the engine running after being started by a remote starter system.”

To us, it sounds like a vehicle started by remote start is not counted as an unattended motor vehicle. This falls in line with a trend throughout the country where unattended vehicle laws are amended to allow remote start systems.

Special Cook County Remote Start Municipal Code

Furthermore, here in Cook County, a municipal code states that:

“It shall be unlawful for any person to cause or permit the operation of the main engine of any motor vehicle when parked or standing, except for the following:”

Several conditions follow, one of which is:

“(c) Whenever weather conditions justify the use of heating or air-conditioning systems for the welfare and safety of any occupants (or future passengers in the case of public vehicles stopped in turn around or other such waiting areas) or when such low temperatures prevail that the startup of public conveyances or service vehicles might not otherwise be feasible.”

Source: Countryside Mitsubishi

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