ROSEVILLE, Mich. — Police this month gave a Michigan man a $128 ticket for something millions of people do every day – leaving his car running to warm up the interior on a cold day.
“This is purely a public safety issue,” Roseville, Mich., Police Chief James Berlin told a local TV station, Fox 8. “You see it all the time. People hop in a running car and steal them. Something bad happens when that occurs.”
Nick Taylor violated a Roseville ordinance against leaving keys in an empty car — even though it was a frigid morning, WDIV-4 reported. He left the vehicle running outside his girlfriend’s house on a very frigid morning.
“Unattended car,” Taylor wrote on Facebook. “I’ve done this every day for seven years. Every person warms up their car. We live in Michigan.”
Taylor posted a picture of the ticket on Facebook. It had received more than 13,000 shares, 5,000 comments and 5,100 likes as of Jan. 10.
The ticket read, in part, “vehicle parked in drive … with keys in ignition. Motor running. No one around.”
One commenter on Facebook wrote that “everyone in a cold state would be getting tickets” if such a law existed everywhere and was enforced.
Another wrote, “I lived in Michigan for 40 years and now Wisconsin for 2. I always start my car on cold days before leaving. It’s only common sense. So one is supposed to stay in car when it is 21 below zero, freeze their butts off before car warms up, which could take up to 30 minutes?”
Still another wrote, “Frostbite or hypothermia could set in if people stay with the car before it is warmed up cause some take longer and in [negative-degree] degree weather it’s not practical or safe for people, either.”
But some people on Facebook supported the police. One person wrote, “He’s the idiot not the cop and for a number of reasons: Theft – he will not be covered on his insurance. Warming up the car is actually harmful to the engine and will shorten engine life. Waste of fuel. Pollution. And it is ILLEGAL.”
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