It’s cold. An arctic blast brought in record cold temps this week. It’s a reminder that we’re near that time of year when people warm their cars up before heading out. But the Department of Environmental Protection wants you to know you can be fined for doing it too long.

If the temperature is 25 degrees or warmer you may only warm your car up for 3 minutes before driving it. You can be issued a fine of $250 for a first offense and even in your own driveway. Second offense is $500 and third offense is $1,000. Does it happen often? No, but last year hundreds of tickets were issued.

If the temperature is lower than 25 degrees you’re allowed to idle your car up to 15 minutes. I suppose we’re supposed to be grateful for that? Look, anyone with toddlers knows the cold car first thing in the morning can be brutal. 25 degrees is 7 below freezing and 3 minutes is not a lot of warm up time. The fact that a cop can walk onto your private property is bothersome but yes, it’s the law.

If you want to know everything there is to know about avoiding this expensive ticket here’s all the info from the DEP.

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