Did You Know It’s Illegal To Cool Off Your Car In Massachusetts?
Over the winter, we talked about how it's "Illegal To Warm Up Your Car In Massachusetts." Now that it's summer time here in the Berkshires, on those hot days you're going to want to a nice cool car on the inside when you turn on your air conditioning.
But, does this law about cooling off your car the same as warming up your car?
According to mass.gov, while this law does prohibit unnecessary idling, it also recognizes that there are times when idling is simply unavoidable and lists three specific exemptions: Like when an engine is being repaired and operating the engine is necessary for the repair; or when a vehicle is making deliveries and associated power is necessary; and when the engine is used to provide power to another device.
All-in-all, the penalties are pretty much the same for unnecessary unattended vehicle idling like getting a $35 fine. Although, as mentioned before a police officer is not just going to drive around heavily enforcing this law. Not unless someone actually files a complaint through local police or MassDEP. While enforcement personnel cannot respond to every complaint about idling vehicles, there are instances when it is not obvious why a vehicle needs to idle longer than five minutes.
Many of the complaints about excessive idling are about the same vehicles in the same locations that are left idling on a daily but many times it's just out of habit. People that are living or working near those vehicles the exhaust that they are exposed to is not just a nuisance, it becomes a real health problem.
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