I know this headline seems like it can't be true, and well, stupid. Well, it is true, and it is stupid.

The New Jersey Department of Transportation has some pretty strict rules when it comes to warming up or idling your vehicle, even if it's in your own driveway. If you don't follow these rules, it could cost you up to $250 and that's only for the first offense.

Take a look at N.J.A.C. 7:27-14,15.

It states:

All vehicles may idle for up to three minutes with the following exceptions:

  • May idle for up to 15 consecutive minutes when the vehicle has been stopped for 3 or more hours and ONLY if the temperature is <25 degrees F
  • Buses may idle while actively discharging or picking up passengers for 15 consecutive minutes in a 60-minute period
  • No idling is allowed in a parking space with available and functioning electrification technology

This is part of the Department's "Stop The Soot" campaign. The DEP even provides a 24-hour hotline to report (rat on) people with an idling vehicle. I will not be sharing that phone number here.

Think this is made up hysteria? Last year, my neighbor got an early morning visit from an officer and a nice $250 summons because she was warming her car up in her own driveway. It had only been 10 minutes according to my neighbor.

Stay warm, but be careful!

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