Boise Police Department
News Release

William L. Bones
Chief of Police

Contact: BPD Media Relations Office


Friday, October 28, 2011

Cold weather tips for motorists! VIDEO

10-28-11 Cold weather tips for motorists! VIDEO

There are basically two circumstances we want to be aware of when it comes to defrosting and clearing your windshields.

If your vehicle is parked on private property, like your driveway, it is legal to start your car and leave it to defrost. However, criminals are opportunists and in some cases they may take advantage of any unlocked car. Boise Officers highly recommend you lock your vehicle at all times. Be aware that many new cars will not allow you to leave them running with the key in the ignition. These vehicles may automatically unlock the doors when you close them and the engine is running. Be very wary of leaving your vehicle unlocked for any reason, even in your own driveway.

If you are parked on a public right of way, Idaho State code 49-602, and Boise City Code 10.11.9 prohibit a vehicle from being left unattended with the engine running at any time. This means you will have to rely on your ice scraper whenever your vehicle is parked on a public street. Having a good ice scrapper in your car at all times is always a good idea during the cold season.

Keeping our windshields clear of snow and ice is a safety concern for all motorists. Vehicle collisions and collisions with pedestrians are always an unpleasant situation we should all strive to avoid. Being sure our windows are clear of obstructions is in our best interest. Idaho State Code 49-612 (3) outlines the rules for maintaining a clean and safe view from our vehicles passenger compartment when operating a motor vehicle. 

These laws are in place to ensure that criminals do not have an easy target, and our streets are just a bit safe for fellow motorists. It only takes a few minutes to properly clean and prepare our vehicles for the road.

TITLE 49 MOTOR VEHICLES CHAPTER 6 RULES OF THE ROAD 49-602.Unattended motor vehicle. No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the parking brake and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.

Boise City Code Section 10-11-09 REQUIREMENTS FOR LEAVING VEHICLE UNATTENDEDNo person having control or charge of a vehicle shall allow such vehicle to stand on any street unattended without stopping the motor of the vehicle and effectively setting the brakes thereon.

TITLE 49 MOTOR VEHICLES CHAPTER 6 RULES OF THE ROAD 49-612.Obstruction to driver's view or driving mechanism. (3)  No vehicle shall be operated when the windshield and/or windows of the vehicle are coated with ice, snow, sleet, or dust to the extent that the driver's view ahead, or to the sides or rear of the vehicle are obstructed.