If you drive a car, chances are you’ve been slapped with a ticket or two at some point. And it’s pretty likely that you think your penalty was unfair.
We all know that unfair tickets go beyond those unfair moving violations. It’s safe to say that every driver has fallen victim to a parking ticket. But did you know that there’s another vehicle infraction that will slowly bankrupt you?
Taylor Trupiano of Roseville, Michigan, walked out to his car in the morning to find a $128 ticket windshield — for warming up his vehicle in the driveway.
Apparently, you can get a ticket for leaving the keys in the ignition of an unattended vehicle with motor running, even if it’s just a common practice to heat up your car.
“I thought it was some kind of joke at first, and then I was thrown back by it,” the 24-year-old told WXYZ. “I was really surprised.”
The vehicle wasn’t left alone for long, he added — and he wasn’t given a warning or even knock on the front door. “I was in and out in probably about 7-8 minutes. So in that amount of time [the police officer] ran up here, gave me a ticket and by the time I got out he was nowhere to be seen,” he said.
Frustrated by a fine for something that “everybody does,” Trupiano posted a photo of the ticket on Facebook, which has been shared over 6,000 times.
People, especially fellow Michiganders who heat up their cars in the cold weather, were outraged by the penalty.
While there is no state law regarding unattended, running vehicles, several cites across Michigan do have local ordinances addressing the matter.
Despite some backlash, local law enforcement is not backing down.
“It’s common sense. We can’t warn everybody of the law there is. Common sense says you don’t leave your car running unattended,” Roseville Police Chief James Berlin told reporters.
This kind of negligence, he explained, is taken very seriously for a reason. “We have five to ten cars stolen this way every winter,” he noted. “It’s dangerous, and of course it drives everyone’s insurance rates up. It drives our crime rates up.”
There is some good news for drivers with remote start — they’re allowed to warm up their unattended cars because the vehicle can be running WHILE locked.
So, people with newer rides can avoid that fine!
…The rest of us are going to have to brace ourselves for a cold winter.