This Is Absurd

Instead of Don Balfour wasting his time running scientific experiments on sixth graders, maybe he should refocus his energies on this.

Louise Wood warms up her car every chilly morning so her 6-year-old son won’t have to get into a cold car.

After starting the engine, she locks her car, sets its alarm and heads back into her home.

Sounds basic, but Wood and more than a dozen other Forest Park residents have learned an expensive lesson about this common routine.

It’s against the law.

A little-known state statute makes it illegal to leave a car running and unattended. The 33-year-old law was meant to prevent driverless cars from rolling away.

But the law is finding new purpose in Wood’s hometown of 22,000 people, as a tool to prevent auto theft.

Wood, a senior operations clerk at AT&T, is one of 14 people ticketed since January by Forest Park police for violating Georgia code section 40-6-201. The ticket runs $168.

My daughter is 18 months old. We don’t have a garage. I go out in the morning, about fifteen minutes before we leave to go to daycare, and turn on the car to get it warm. I don’t like putting her in a freezing car and she really does not like it.

Apparently, however, it is against the law for me to warm up my car for my daughter. Sure, I understand the public safety concern, but is there not a level of common sense to all of this? Seriously? If I lived in a neighborhood with lots of car thefts, I wouldn’t do that. As it is, my wife’s car is parked behind mine, so it’s not like my car could get out of the yard.

That’s just aggravating.


  1. Icarus says:

    I really think you should consider buying a few carbon offsets from Al Gore for the extra pollution you’re creating every morning.

  2. Icarus says:


    It’s a 33 year old law. I think if you go back and check, you’ll probably find this wasn’t passed by GOP legislators, as I don’t think there were more than 10 of them around at the time. Nor do I think that Forest Park is ruled by the GOP today.

  3. sndeak says:

    Icarus – The comment was more of an overall statement about the legislature this year. Every time I turn around they seem to be getting into everyone’s business rather than focusing on the big issues confronting Georgia like Transportation and PeachCare.

  4. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, here we go, I think that we need to have a commission created by the Georgia legislature, or heck, the legislators can do it themselves, but all the laws and regulations need to be reviewed as a part of updating government. In one clean sweep, outdated regulations need to be repealed, such as this one mentioned.

    Furthermore, all future legislation should be subject to a 5 year reauthorization sunset rule.

    Isn’t this the reason that we were voting for Republicans in the first place?

    As for the HPV Vaccine, after an exchange with Senator Shafer, I misunderstood the “mandatory” nature of it and have not made up my mine yet on what I think. I’m doing a little research. I will say that I’m weary of those without a medical degree or scientific credentials passing judgement on the benefit or lack of benefit of such drugs.

    I repeat my support for a comprehensive effort to review all healthcare related mandates and provisions in Georgia. At this point, eminent domain got vetting than did health care policy in our state.

  5. Bull Moose says:

    I’m not sure why two words got left out but the above should read, “At this point, eminent domain has gotten better vetting than has health care policy in our state.”

  6. bowersville says:

    And who thought Balfour had any common sense.

    As soon as the Supremes Miranda’s Forest Park, it will be over. Stolen cars my a**.

    It’s about the money.

  7. Bull Moose says:

    Okay, picking up on the AJC Political Insider’s reference to Creative Loafing’s tid bit that USA Today is going to be running a story on Peach Care, I officially believe that this is going to be one of three issues that leads GA Democrats back into power in the State.

    Now with some Republicans coming out so vocally against the HPV / Cervical Cancer vaccination, Republicans are going to lose the common sense voter out there who can tell the difference between a genuine concern and politically charged rhetorical talking points.

    Frankly, I’m dissapointed by some of the blatantly rhetorical talking points being offered by some far right wing sucking up politicians and wanna be politicians. Remember, voters are smarter than this and can see through it.

    The only person that I’ve heard articulate a real position in opposition is David Shafer, everyone else sounds like they are just reading talking points.

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