Frigid Out! But Still Illegal to Warm Up Your Car Massachusetts
With temperatures dropping into the twenties, teens, and even zero this weekend, 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. (Even though I did see some police cars the other night idling unattended.)
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE REPORT:
...WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 10 AM EST SATURDAY... * WHAT...Dangerously cold wind chills. Wind chills as low as 25 to 40 below zero. * WHERE...In Connecticut, Litchfield County. In New York, Eastern Greene, Western Columbia and Eastern Dutchess Counties. * WHEN...Until 10 AM EST Saturday. * IMPACTS...The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS...The lowest wind chills are expected Saturday morning. Wind gusts between 20 and 35 mph will continue into this morning and then will gradually diminish. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... Avoid outside activities if possible. When outside, make sure you wear appropriate clothing, a hat, and gloves.
READ MORE: Essentials You'll Need in Your Vehicle This Winter