Annapolis Police Ticketing Residents For Warming Up Cars

| January 8, 2014
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AnnapolisPoliceUPDATED: Corporal Amy Miguez, spokesperson for the Annapolis Police Department called us to explain that this initiative was not new and to reinforce that it is a law in Maryland. Miguez said that 7 vehicles were spotted today. Five received citations, 2 did not because they were locked and had remote starters. “In fact, there was a vehicle stolen just this morning that was left unlocked and running,” said Miguez.  “If an officer is able to get to a vehicle, determine it is unlocked and running;  and begin to write a ticket, there is certainly enough time for someone to steal it.”

An Annapolis resident contacted us this morning to let us know that the Annapolis Police Department was ticketing vehicles in residential neighborhoods which were spotted running without a driver.

With temperatures in the single digits, most drivers will allow their vehicles to warm up, prior to driving. This morning, one local resident of A community off Forest Drive allowed her car to warm up while she watched from inside her townhome. She received a $70 citation for “leaving the car unattended without stopping the engine, locking ignition removing key and setting brake.”

Below is the appropriate Maryland Code:

2010 Maryland Code

TRANSPORTATION

TITLE 21 – VEHICLE LAWS – RULES OF THE ROAD

Subtitle 11 – Miscellaneous Rules

Section 21-1101 – Unattended motor vehicle.

§ 21-1101. Unattended motor vehicle.

(a) Duty of driver upon leaving unattended vehicle.- Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person driving or otherwise in charge of a motor vehicle may not leave it unattended until the engine is stopped, the ignition locked, the key removed, and the brake effectively set.

(b) Procedure for vehicles on grades.- A person driving or otherwise in charge of a motor vehicle may not leave the motor vehicle unattended until, if the vehicle is on a grade, the front wheels are turned to the curb or side of the highway.

(c) Animals left in vehicles.- When a cat or dog is left in the unattended vehicle of an on-duty law enforcement officer or an animal control officer, the provisions of subsection (a) of this section do not apply to the law enforcement officer or the animal control officer.

Annapolis does have a problem with goods being stolen from vehicles as well as vehicles being stolen in general.

We have reached out to the Annapolis Police Department for a comment and are awaiting a return call.

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Category: Local News, NEWS

About the Author ()

John is the publisher and editor of Eye On Annapolis. As a resident and business owner in Anne Arundel County for more than 15 years, he realized that there was something missing in terms of community news--and Eye On Annapolis was born in late spring 2009. John's background is in the travel industry as a business owner, industry speaker, and travel writer. In terms of blogging and social media, he cut his teeth with MSNBC.com.
  • BBQ Drew

    Sadly, this is the type of enforcement you get when a community has officers that are held to writing a set number of citations per month. I feel for the officers on the street that will get guff from their superiors if they do not write enough violations. The system is inherently flawed by using a statistics based approach to policing rather than a quality of life/community involvement approach.

  • Anon

    So she watched the officer pull up, approach her vehicle, check to see if it was unlocked, take out a ticket book and write a citation? Or, the more likely scenario is that she wasn’t actually watching the vehicle as she claimed and she’s lucky it wasn’t stolen.

  • Tara Hargadon

    I get it, I really do! Especially with all the car break ins and thefts. Thought, I seriously have done this every morning for the past 2 weeks. If I started my day with a $70 ticket while my front door is wide open where my truck is visible to me, I’d be pretty angry.

    • gary u. trance

      I bet you would be pretty angry! You obviously have no idea how quickly a locked and cold car can be stolen. What would you do if someone smashed the window? How fast could you get out there to prevent them? Are you standing there with a rifle ready to end it? Would you? If you were standing there with the phone in your hand you wouldn’t get the second “1″ pressed before they were gone. Lock your car, take your keys, take a bite out of crime.

  • Amy Green

    I was trying to make sense of the reasoning behind the law and the best that I could come up with is that it could potentially be safety concern if an unattended car began rolling. I’m not sure I understand Miguez’s rationale, though. She seems to suggest the crime that warrants a citation is a that the person could be a victim of car theft. Punishing a resident because her car could potentially be stolen? Really? These temperatures are without a doubt extreme and surely the police have better things to do. I must be missing something

    • ThatGuyD

      It’s to make money plain and simple. What’s next? Giving you a fine for leaving your front door unlocked? Oh noes…something could be stolen! $%#@&%$ pieces of $*^%.

      • mgentry77

        Wow are you really that stupid. This law has been in effect for years. And it is about money to a point. If your car is stolen then the police have to do more work that could have been prevented. So hence you cause the police to focus less on serious crime fighting and more on a issue you caused.

        • usmc1999

          I would love to see actual statistics that show how many cars that are left running are actually stolen. simply lock it with a different key.

          • gary u. trance

            Cars left running unattended get stolen all the time. How about leaving your baby or dog locked up in the car while you run into the cleaners for 2-3 minutes? Izzat okay?

          • usmc1999

            nope, that isn’t okay, but you are comparing apples and oranges. where are the statistics, not just your guesses.

          • gary u. trance

            Apples ‘n oranges… in a way. Still, why is it not okay to leave a baby or pet unattended in a car for a short time if it’s okay to leave the car running unattended for a short time? I have direct knowledge (and not as a thief) of such cars being stolen. There is no way to know, as a percentage, how many cars left running unattended get stolen. It’s possible to know how many stolen cars were left running unattended. Your chances of having your car stolen that way is probably greater than your chances of winning the lottery.

          • usmc1999

            considering the chances of almost anything else happening is greater than my chances of winning the lottery, i can’t disagree.

  • Stamos

    Must be the new mayor… What a #$%^&; but hey, Annapolis you guys elected him.

    • Drea

      It says 2010 Maryland Code.

      • http://www.eyeonannapolis.net/ John Frenaye

        That is the most recent. From what I have heard there was an amendment introduced last session that failed.

  • joro

    I wonder if they are allowed to issue warnings for first time offenders. I have never heard of this law. Seems a bit harsh for an otherwise law abiding citizen.

  • Greg

    In the law above, I do not see the exception for remote starts.

  • Jay F.

    This is absolutely insane. As a tax paying, land owning, resident of Maryland and the city of Annapolis, I should have the right to do whatever I please with the motor
    vehicle that I own on property that I own.

    Cars perform more efficiently when warmed up, and it allows ice on my windshields to defrost giving me more visibility.

    I would find a decent lawyer and fight this citation on premise.

  • https://christiaanconover.com/ Christiaan Conover

    I’m totally fine with this for a number of reasons, not the least of which is teaching people not to leave themselves vulnerable to vehicle break-ins or theft that will cost taxpayers money when police have to investigate, and affect insurance rates from filed claims. Warming up your car is bad for the engine (95% of engine wear occurs while the engine is cold, and it takes much longer for the engine to warm up when idling than driving), and bad for the environment. People can survive the few minutes of chilly temperatures inside their vehicles until the heat kicks in.

  • Jerry

    Actually not too many criminals out when weather gets this cold. What ever happened to common sense.

  • Richard Martin

    Truth be told, no one stands there and watches their car okay? That being said… Who is responsible if a child jumps in your unattended but running and unlocked car?

    • avgjoe

      you are responsible if a child jumps in. does the child in your hypothetical situation do anything but jump in? that being said, children jumping in the car isn’t the concern from what it looks like in the article, but did you even read it? you cant prosecute “what ifs.”

  • gary u. trance

    Is it a parking ticket? How do you issue a warning parking ticket? Warnings are given to people, not objects. Now you’re upset about them not getting a break (even though you seem confident that the judge will issue them a break). Motorists are supposed to familiarize themselves with the law, is that not so? Plus, it seems like it would just be common sense that you don’t leave your car running unattended because it’s so easy to steal when it is.