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Leave Your Car While it's Warming Up? You're Breaking the Law

WTVO / WQRF – This winter, many of us will start the car and leave to let it warm up before getting back in it. But if you leave your car idling in certain places, you may be breaking the law.
WTVO / WQRF – Many of us are guilty of it. We leave our cars while they're warming up before getting back in.  Taylor Sellers admits to this, “It's miserable, like, who wants to go out in the cold?" 

So does Kevin Mari, “You don't want to go out to your car and it's freezing cold and then you have to go drive around in the freezing cold and wait for it to warm up."

And so does Kathleen Carnine: “I do it every day during the winter."

But careful, if you do it on a side street or any other road, you could be slapped with a $120 ticket.  Loves Park Police Chief Jim Puckett says it's for your own safety: “I don't blame people, cuz it's cold out here during the winter.  It's nice to be able to leave the store and jump in a warm car and take off...but they may come out and find their car gone!"

But some are just--now--becoming aware of the law, including Mari: “I had recently got stopped in my subdivision and was told that I’m not allowed to leave my car running in my driveway to warm up in the morning."

Actually -- there's some confusion about that.  Police say you can't be ticketed if you leave your car idling on private property like your driveway or in a commercial lot
And here's another exception.  Puckett says, “When you have a lock out in your ignition to where the key comes out, that's perfectly fine to do to leave your vehicle running that way."

But will Stateliners let the law leave them out in the cold?  Carnine says no, “I’ll keep my car on my driveway and start it."

Neither does sellers, “They can make it against the law if they want to, but i don't care.

So at a gas station, it’s actually okay to leave your car while it's idling.  That is unless the company sets up an ordinance with the police allowing them to ticket you.  But in reality, whether you're in your driveway or at a gas station, Puckett says you risk your car being stolen if you leave the keys in the ignition.
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