It’s Cold Out – But Idling Your Vehicle Can Result In A Fine

idling-carWith the cold blast hitting NJ recently, instead of getting into that cold vehicle, many drivers will leave their vehicles idling to warm the engine. However, according to State Law, you can get fined for doing just that for over 3 minutes on a public road. Besides, many vehicles – including in Lakewood – have been stolen that way. Below is the statue for idling in NJ:

(a) No person shall cause, suffer, allow, or permit the engine of a gasoline-fueled motor vehicle to idle for more than three consecutive minutes if the vehicle is not in motion.

(b) The provisions of (a) above shall not apply to:

1. Autobuses while discharging or picking up passengers;

2. Motor vehicles stopped in a line of traffic;

3. Motor vehicles whose primary and/or secondary power source is utilized in whole or in part for necessary and definitively prescribed mechanical operation other than propulsion, passenger compartment heating or air conditioning; 22

4. Motor vehicles being or waiting to be examined by State or Federal motor vehicle inspectors;

5. Emergency motor vehicles in an emergency situation;

6. Motor vehicles while being repaired;

7. Motor vehicles while engaged in the process of connection, detachment or exchange of trailers; or

8. Motor vehicles manufactured with a sleeper berth while being used, in a non-residentially zoned area, by the vehicle’s operator for sleeping or resting. TLS.

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  1. #1. Anytime
    #2. No
    #3. Maybe it has to due with the computers, video recorders, lights, radar units, and defibulators that are inside the cars. Would you want the police to wait until everything restarts, warms up and turns on so they can respond to an emergency.

  2. I don’t understand how your third answer conforms with the State law in referred to above at (b)5 which makes an exception for “Emergency motor vehicles in an emergency situation”…

  3. I’m so glad our state legislators are looking out for our benefit. Not only will there no snow on car roofs this winter, but there will also be no idling cars!!!

  4. How about when you’re pulled over by a police officer? Must you shut off your engine if the officer is taking his time writing you a summons?

    This statute sounds like a g-dsend for revenue strapped townships.

  5. It’s interesting because it’s said that a car should be warmed up for about five minutes aftre sittind idle during the freezing night. So will those FEW jerky officers on the force now be watching for people warming their cars??

    Your article starts off implying that if someone is in the vehicle it’s okay, but that is not seen anywhere in the statute.

  6. It appears many who have a problem with obeying the law think its for everyone else and not them , stop worrying about every body else and concern yourself with obeying the law if you go to court your defense cannot be “every one else does it” the judge will say BUT YOU GOT CAUGHT!!!

  7. Does this “idleing” count for waiting at a crosswalk while a little old lady takes her time to cross (while you get honked at for stopping short!)
    Another stupid law in the state of NJ!

  8. To London Driver:

    I’m surprised at you. I would expect a London driver to actually exit the vehicle and help the “little old lady” cross the street and only then continue on your way! BTW the “little old lady” isn’t “taking her time”, it simply TAKES HER TIME!!! How fast will you be crossing when you’re 80 years+??

  9. To all those who say stop complaining.
    If nobody speaks up, the government will keep on shoving these stupid laws down our throat “for our own benefit”. This country was founded on the premise of some basic freedoms, yet we live in a society that is a thousand times more totalitarian than King George ever was!

  10. to #23
    these are the politicians you elected to office to guide us. they think they were elected to rule every aspect of our lives. if you don’t like the laws elect new and better politicians.

  11. Its a shame, if we were allowed to pollute the air more, maybe “global warming” will happen quicker and New Jersey will become hot all year like Florida. 🙂

  12. Good point about the fogging issue. Let’s say it’s freezing with ice on the cars, how in the world are you supposed to get it off without heating up the car first?!?!? New Jersey loves making laws, whether they make sense or not.

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