MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICH. - Michigan lawmakers say it's now OK to leave vehicles running unattended on private property.
In June, the state's uniform traffic code changed thanks to a bill introduced by State Representative Holly Hughes.
"I'm glad we got it into law," Hughes said Thursday, Jan. 4.
House Bill 4215 received overwhelming support from Republicans and Democrats.
The legislation signed by Governor Snyder removes the threat of a ticket for anyone caught warming up vehicles on private property.
"That is what we do in Michigan," said Hughes. "We start up our cars and get them warm."
Muskegon resident Cencilyon Stewart almost always starts his car before he takes his son to daycare.
"You go and sit down and it is warm," said Stewart. "It is amazing."
The running unattended vehicle must be on private property, not parked in the street or in a store parking lot.
Muskegon's Director of Public Safety Jeffrey Lewis says unattended running vehicles are open invitation to thieves. It's something that results in more work for officers.
"Almost 100 vehicles taken per year from a residence that were left running," said Lewis.
Lewis wants those who want to warm up vehicles to invest in a remote starter with an automatic door lock.
And Representative Hughes is also asking drivers to use caution.
"Use your common sense," said Hughes. "Most people do, they do not want to lose their cars."
This topic gained attention last winter after a man in the Detroit area received a $125 ticket for leaving his unattended car running in the driveway.
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