Warming Up Your Car Can Actually Be Illegal In New Jersey

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Letting your car warm up a little before you drive, especially in the winter is a must for many people. But, according to NJ.com, you can actually get a ticket for doing this for too long in New Jersey. Police tend to give out warnings and an education on why it is bad, as opposed to handing out tickets.

Lt. John Lamon of Sparta Police said it can be common for officers to see a parked vehicle left running while the driver is inside a convenience store. "A lot of people don't even know the law," said Lamon.

New Jersey prohibits idling, which the state defines as "when the engine is running but the vehicle is not moving...to no more than three minutes under most circumstances." Tickets can start at $100.

This law "has a serious aim of safeguarding health and the environment." Although the law does not apply to a driver stuck in stalled traffic, (considering that is unavoidable) idling can be the source of potentially deadly air contaminants such as carbon monoxide.

Executive director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, Jeff Tittel mentioned that school buses and trucks can be the main sources of air pollution.

Back in 2016, there were 288 summons issued for this law, according to state judiciary.

Tracy Noble, spokeswoman for AAA Mid-Atlantic stated that idling is unnecessary because "vehicles today warm up very quickly. Letting it warm up 15 to 30 seconds before driving away is all your car needs."

Lamon said the police are staying alert for vehicles in semi-enclosed areas such as parking garages. 

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