There have been a lot of questions about the legalities of letting your car run unattended in your driveway and Michigan law has swung both ways.

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Michigan Man Rails Against 'Ridiculous' Ticket

You may remember Taylor Trupiano, the Michigan man who brought the topic of warming up your car front and center when he got a ticket from Roseville police for pre-heating his car outside his home in 2017.

Trupiano railed against the ticket, posting it on social media where many showed support by calling the citation ridiculous.

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Turns out the cops were well within their rights. Michigan law (at that time) prohibited leaving a running vehicle unattended with the keys in the ignition - even if that car was parked on private property.

Michigan Law Has Changed

There has since been a change to Michigan law allowing motorists a little more flexibility. In 2017, House Bill 4215 amended the law, rescinding the wording that made the practice illegal "in any place." This allows vehicle owners to warm up their vehicles in their private driveways without risk of penalty.

However, the legislation states that it is still illegal to leave an unattended running vehicle on a public or private roadway or parking lot.

Remote Starters Make Warming Up Your Vehicle Legal

Although leaving an unattended, running vehicle in a parking lot or on a road is illegal, the use of a remote starter does allow some flexibility.

Because vehicles that are started by way of a remote starter can remain locked, and as long as the keys are not accessible, unattended vehicles present no danger and the owner cannot be ticketed.

Still Not a Good Idea

Although Michigan law now allows for vehicles to run unattended in private driveways, police warn against the practice because it's an invitation to theft.

Remote vehicle starters make it easy and legal to warm up a vehicle in a parking lot or driveway without increasing the odds of theft.

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