You may be tempted to warm up your car while indoors as the temperatures drop, but doing so is illegal in the state of Maryland.
The Maryland Transportation Code prohibits drivers from leaving cars unattended unless, “the engine is stopped, the ignition locked, the key removed, and the brake effectively set.”
Breaking this law could come with a $70 fine plus one point against your driving record. If your car slips out of gear and causes and accident, officers could issue a ticket carrying a $110 fine and three points against your license.
The law does have some wiggle room, allowing cars using a remote keyless ignition starter to run unattended for up to five minutes. The law also allows a parked car to run unattended for up to five minutes while locked on private property not open to the public.
In Michigan, a man said he was fined $128 for warming up his car in his own driveway. He left the key in the ignition and went inside his home for about eight minutes. A photo of his parking ticket recently went viral on Facebook.
“Vehicles left running outside homes, in front of convenience stores and at gas pumps present an easy target for car thieves,” Baltimore County police said in a recent news release. “Always take your keys with you and secure your vehicle, even for a short trip into the store.”