Reminder: In Illinois, It’s Illegal To Warm Up Your Car
The mornings are getting chillier and we are seeing frost on our cars. With lows recently reaching the mid to upper 30's overnight in the Quad Cities, it's a good time to remind you that on one side of the Mississippi River, it's illegal to warm up your car.
We hate to quote Game Of Thrones here, but winter is coming. As Quad Citians, we know winters can be brutal and temperatures can be extremely cold. It's the worst getting into a cold car. If you live in Illinois and don't have a remote start, warming up your vehicle could get you in some trouble.
Before the cold tempts you to go out and warm up your car, we want to remind you it's illegal to warm up your car in Illinois using your key and leaving it unattended. Back in 2017, Illinois lawmakers passed this law making it illegal for people to essentially 'warm up' their cars:
According to the Illinois General Assembly:
(625 ILCS 5/11-1401)
(from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11-1401)
Unattended motor vehicles.
Except for a law enforcement officer or an operator of an authorized emergency vehicle performing his or her official duties, 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 brake thereon and, when standing upon any perceptible grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway. An unattended motor vehicle shall not include an unattended locked motor vehicle with the engine running after being started by a remote starter system.
In short, you can't warm up your car or let it idle without someone in the driver's seat unless you are a police officer, an authorized emergency vehicle, or have automatic start.
Before March 16, 2017, Iowa had a similar law but was amended.
When it comes to getting caught warming up your car in Illinois when you don't have a remote start, we couldn't find an exact dollar amount for a fine. Some articles we found said upwards of $100, some said $125, others say $250.
But the most important reminder for everyone in the Quad Cities is that the ultimate fine anyone could face on either side of the Quad Cities when they leave their car unattended is theft.
Last year, because of the rising numbers of car thefts throughout the Quad Cities, over 20 law enforcement agencies, including the Illinois State Police, Iowa State Patrol, and the Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline Police Departments have started the #LockItDownQC campaign.
According to the official Lock It Down QC website,
The mission of Lock It Down QC is to prevent auto theft in the Quad City Area. Lock It Down QC is a cooperative effort of Iowa and Illinois Quad City Area law enforcement agencies.
On the Lock It Down QC website, officials outline three key actions Quad City citizens can take to prevent car theft including:
- Never leave your car running, even if you have your fob.
- Always lock your car.
- Never leave your keys in your car.
You can find more information and tips about #LockItDownQC here.
Trust me, it doesn't take long for a vehicle to be stolen. Back in December, our older brother station 97x published a story about how fast someone's car can be stolen out of their garage. Take a look for yourself below.