Is it Illegal to Heat Up your Car in Montana While You Wait Indoors?
The temps in Billings are dropping to 9 degrees tonight.
And a cold winter is ahead of us. I don’t have a remote start on my car, but I’m thinking I need one. It’s quite lovely getting in a warmed car on a bitter cold day. But is it legal to let your car idle and warm up?
Billings Police Department actually posted to Facebook yesterday about leaving cars idle while warming up.
We know Billings PD is worried about people stealing our cars; it essentially creates more work for them when we can prevent a car from being stolen.
However, is it actually legal to leave your car unattended in Billings?
It was in 2017 when Montana Legislature stated: "it is no longer illegal to start up your vehicle and leave it running unattended while the engine warms up." The reason why it used to be illegal to idle your car, is because people rarely had a second set of keys to keep the doors locked with the main car keys in the ignition. That's a car-jacking waiting to happen.
But with changing times and new technology, we are allowed to use our remote starters to heat up our cars on cold days! Hallelujah!
Now, my homework for today is finding a remote start for my 2011 Subaru...
Like the Billings PD said, just be on the lookout for sketchy and suspicious behavior near idling cars around town. Always report to the Billings PD if you do see some weirdo trying to jack a car. Cheers to warm vehicles this winter!