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Old 12-07-2008, 10:31 AM   #1
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Post Laws about coasting

We often discuss neutral coasting and engine-off coasting, and often accompany such discussion with the disclaimer that it is probably illegal. So, I figure...why not make a thread listing the laws about it?

These are only laws that explicitly prohibit coasting or explicitly require staying in gear. Other laws could be used against you but would be subject to interpretation.

Rhode Island: http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/statute...22/31-22-6.HTM
Quote:
? 31-22-6 Coasting prohibited. – (a) The driver of any motor vehicle when traveling upon a down grade shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral.
So, it's prohibited while descending, but nothing is said about level land. It's also not prohibited to coast downhill with the clutch disengaged as long as the transmission remains in gear (not "in neutral").

Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-90-toc.htm
I could not find anything explicitly requiring the car to remain in gear or disallowing coasting in neutral.

Connecticut: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Title14.htm?dmvPNavCtr=|#39798
http://www.cga.ct.gov/2005/pub/Chap248.htm
Quote:
Sec. 14-222. Reckless driving. [...] The operation of a motor vehicle upon any such highway, road or parking area for ten cars or more at such a rate of speed as to endanger the life of any person other than the operator of such motor vehicle, or the operation, downgrade, upon any highway, of any motor vehicle with a commercial registration with the clutch or gears disengaged, or the operation knowingly of a motor vehicle with defective mechanism, shall constitute a violation of the provisions of this section.
So, coasting is not explicitly prohibited except for vehicles with commercial registrations.

Well, that covers my commute.

Search tips:
First, google for your state's motor vehicle code. Then use part of the motor vehicle code URL (using google's "site:" or "inurl:" operators) from that to search for terms like neutral, coasting, gear, or clutch. That was easy with RI and MA, but CT's URL changes a lot from the MVC's index to the actual laws.

I'm not sure how to search for laws about EOC.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:37 PM   #2
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Fortunately for my 69 SAAB, both the traditional clutch and the gears remain engaged while the overrun pawls of the freewheel between the clutch and input shaft allow the car to roll much faster than the idling engine turns the clutch.
And the freewheel is an emission reducing device, or so it claims in the owner's manual, so I can't defeat it except to push start if needed.
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:44 PM   #3
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Commonwealth of Virginia:

Quote:
? 46.2-811. Coasting prohibited.

The driver of any motor vehicle traveling on a downgrade on any highway shall not coast with the gears of the vehicle in neutral.

(Code 1950, ? 46-218; 1958, c. 541, ? 46.1-200; 1989, c. 727.)
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Old 12-07-2008, 04:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lug_Nut View Post
the freewheel between the clutch and input shaft
Cool. I wish I could remember where I read about those and why they're not made anymore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay2TheRescue View Post
Commonwealth of Virginia:
Ppppft, Virginia's a bunch of copycats. I bet RI had it first.
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Old 12-07-2008, 05:32 PM   #5
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Plymouth had freewheeling in the 1930s. I believe you could not engage or disengage it unless you were stopped.

If you forgot to disengage it and went down a mountain road, you brakes would give out and you would go off the side of a cliff.

I am fairly sure that is why VA made it illegal. Of course with todays brakes it probably would not be a problem.

regards
gary
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:24 PM   #6
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Looks like coasting is legal in NC if I'm wrong it's because I got tired of scrolling since there is no mention of the word "coast or coasting" in the vehicle law
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Old 12-08-2008, 04:49 AM   #7
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hope its legal in ontario, because i'm not going to stop

besides i'd like to see them prove it.
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Old 12-08-2008, 05:59 AM   #8
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I don't think they could ever prove it- unless a runaway vehicle down a mountain caused an accident and it ended up having a manual transmission. Then they could say that a no-coasting law was violated and assign fault.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by theholycow View Post
Massachusetts: http://www.mass.gov/legis/laws/mgl/gl-90-toc.htm
I could not find anything explicitly requiring the car to remain in gear or disallowing coasting in neutral.
There is nothing in the Driver's Manual either for Massachusetts (http://www.mass.gov/rmv/dmanual/index.htm). (I search this many times, mostly for arguments about people who ride the passing lane and don't know that it is wrong)

-Bob C.
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Old 12-08-2008, 06:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Erik View Post
I don't think they could ever prove it- unless a runaway vehicle down a mountain caused an accident and it ended up having a manual transmission. Then they could say that a no-coasting law was violated and assign fault.
It's still important to obey laws, and even more important to avoid recommending to someone that they should do something illegal. Also, when discussing it, some people make a big deal out of it being illegal.
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