Henderson, Ky 6/18/21- So, this is a new one on me. Some people want to leave their vehicles running in the summer to keep them cool while they run into a store or maybe even to keep a pet cooled off while having to leave their vehicle unattended to complete errands or grab a drink while paying for that gas, but guess what? It’s illegal in Kentucky to leave your running/idling vehicle unattended!!
“No person operating or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing the key…”Kentucky Revised Statute 189.430
Back in February of 2017, an attempt to change the law was passed by the House but stalled in the Senate. HB 177 would change that law and allow drivers to leave their car running and unattended for up to 15 minutes as long as the doors are locked while the vehicle is idling.
Henderson’s Animal Control responded to the Walmart parking lot twice in the past week for the reports of animals being left inside vehicles while temperatures outside crawled into the lower 90’s. Animal Control Officers say the fire department assisted with one animal removal just after 5PM on Thursday evening which had a locked vehicle running. The other animal removal was from a vehicle not running.
Both animals were taken back to the shelter. The Henderson Police Department and Henderson Fire Department assisted Animal Control on Thursday evening.
Although, it would be impossible to ticket every single person who cooled (or warmed up) their car, especially if it’s on their property, just be careful and do not leave your animals (or KIDS!) in vehicles whether they are running or not.
No information on vehicle owners or if any charges were placed on anyone in these incidents was released by responding agencies.