You Are Breaking the Law If You Warm Up Your Car In MA.
With temperatures still down in the Berkshires and the fact that winter doesn't officially end until March 20th, it's no surprise we're all going to want to go outside and start our vehicles before we head to our destination. However, if you're caught idling your vehicle for an extended period of time, you may have to deal with the law.
Don't get me wrong, I have done this numerous times myself without ever thinking anything of it. But where I live right now, my car is quite a distance from my doorstep. So, what I do is dress warmly, start my car, and drive after just 20 seconds. I leave the heat off until my coolant gauge is roughly halfway according to the needle on the dash.
So, what are the laws and why is it illegal to warm up your car in the Baystate?
According to WWLP 22 News, warming up your car for more than 5 minutes while not being near or in it, is illegal in the state of Massachusetts since it's not a law regulated by any towns. Now it doesn't mean a police officer is driving around looking for idling vehicles because who has time for that honestly? It mainly has to do with the fact that you're putting yourself at risk of someone stealing your car or the exhaust possibly entering your home which causes carbon monoxide.
By the way, not a bad idea right now to check those carbon monoxide or smoke alarms. Although if you're caught idling your vehicle unintended let's say in a public parking lot, a police officer can actually ticket you $35.
READ MORE: Essentials You'll Need in Your Vehicle This Winter
25 Essentials to Keep in Your Vehicle During the Winter Months
Gallery Credit: Cindy Campbell