MICHIGAN (NEXSTAR) — With cold weather hitting the country this week — especially in the Midwest — drivers may want to warm up their vehicles before they hit the roads. But is that legal?
It all depends on where you leave the vehicle running. Before the summer of 2017, Michigan vehicle owners were ticketed for leaving their vehicles unattended unless they locked the doors and used a remote start, even if their cars were sitting in the driveway.
This was largely thanks to rule 28.1458 of the Administrative Code, which previously stated, “a person who has control or charge of a motor vehicle must not allow it to stand unattended on any street or any other place without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, and removing and taking possession of the ignition key.”
However, a Michigan legislative bill rescinded part of the rule, allowing Michigan drivers to warm their vehicles anywhere except on a highway. Michigan Road Terms and Definitions state a highway is, “a main road that provides direct access to buildings and intersections.”
In Michigan, highways also have grade-level intersections and traffic signals and signs, unlike limited-access freeways.
In short, it is not illegal to warm up your car. Just make sure you do so in your driveway.
The old law drew attention after a Roseville man was given a $128 ticket for warming up his car in his driveway, according to the Detroit Free Press.