Bay State Residents Weigh In On Unattended Running Vehicles

Leaving a vehicle unattended will result in a $100 fine in Massachusetts for the first offense

A Michigan man recently got a ticket for leaving his car running with no one inside. Here in New England with bitter cold temperatures, warming vehicles up happens everyday.

People often turn their vehicles on, sometimes leaving them empty to heat up as they get ready for their daily drive.

"Every morning she starts her car up and leaves it running for 10 minutes," said Susan DeMinico from Needham, referring to her neighbor's nursing aide.

In southern Michigan, that landed a man with a ticket from police worth $128 for leaving his car unattended and running in his own driveway.

"I start it as soon as I finished taking a bath and then I stay home and then I start my car," said Sophie Adolphe from Dorchester.

It turns out there is a similar law in Massachusetts. It's illegal to leave your car idling for more than five minutes.

"I don't think everyone knows that's the wrong thing to do," said Edie Knight from Newton.

NBC Boston reached out to the Cambridge, Chelsea and Quincy Police Departments to find out how often this law enforced.

The consensus was "rarely."

Cambridge Police call it a "low priority."

Police say there are thieves who take advantage of unsuspecting drivers by stealing their cars.

Police refer to them as "puffers" as the criminals look for exhaust puffing from tail pipes.

"They could even bust a window and drive off, man," said Ronald Cook from Dorchester. "I'm not chancing that."

If you do get a ticket for leaving your car running, your first fine will be no more than $100. After that, it's $500 for each offense.

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