I don't know about you but I'm totally guilty of doing this every winter...

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Are you are you aware that in New York state it is against the law to start your car and let it warm up while leaving it unattended?

It gets pretty cold in the Capital Region in the winter time and your car definitely needs some time to warm up before it gets going when the temperatures start to drop. Not to mention for your windows to defrost so you can actually see out of them to drive. Ever since moving to the east coast I know I have been notorious for starting up my car on winter mornings with my spare keys and locking it with my regular set to let it warm up while I get ready for work. Partially because I am NOT a morning person and I'm always running late and partially because it's COLD out there!

I mean I feel like you should know you run the risk of your vehicle getting stolen if you leave it running with the keys in the ignition but I didn't realize that it was actually against the law. Apparently New York State vehicle and traffic law states:

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the vehicle, and effectively setting the brake...

If you have a remote car stater on your car and are wondering if this too if breaking the law let me assure you that you are not:

Because it shuts the car off if you step on the brake without a key in the ignition. You also can't move the car without the key in place

Essentially the law is in place so that you do not become a victim of a crime (like someone taking off in your ride) so with that in mind if you are starting your car to let it warm up while you brush the snow off you are not breaking the law either because technically you are "attending" it.

It looks like the punishment for such a violation is only a ticket of some sort but anyone who has even got a parking ticket in the city knows how expensive that can be. I just don't understand how they can punish you for something that is designed so that "you do not become a victim" what do you think? Could this be the dumbest law in NY?