When I learned to drive a manual transmission, I learned by accident that if I started it in gear without engaging the clutch, it would lurch forward, and might even start and drive on. (Usually I was so startled that I let the key go and it didn't actually begin running).
I was told that this trick could get you out of a dangerous situation such as being stalled on a railroad crossing or in a traffic lane: just use the starter to "motor" the car a few feet.
Do manual transmission cars still allow this, or is there now a clutch engaged switch or neutral safety switch or something?
I thought that the ability to "motor" in an emergency was one advantage over an automatic. Is it still true?