Warming up your car illegal in Ohio

Some news from the Cincinnati Enquirer that many of us may not have known - it's illegal to warm up your car in Ohio when you're not in it. Frosty winter mornings often prompt people to start their cars before they have to brave the trek to work or school. Under ORC 4511.661 it's actually a minor misdemeanor to have your car running and unattended. Violations can actually amount to a more significant degree of misdemeanor if the violator has other traffic offenses on his record in the past year. The law states:

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the parking brake, and, when the motor vehicle is standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.

The law applies even if you're using remote start, an assistant city prosecutor in Columbus told the Columbus Dispatch, although you may be able to argue that your car is not truly unattended if you used remote start and can see it, she said. According to the Enquirer article, the law is rarely enforced, but local authorities do caution that leaving a car unlocked and running could make it more susceptible to theft.