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Annapolis Police Ticket Unattended, Running Cars

The enforcement on Wednesday morning, when temperatures dropped to the teens, perplexed some.

Annapolis police issued five tickets to residents Wednesday for leaving their cars running unattended in streets and driveways across the city this week, causing a stir among some who were unaware of the law. (Patch file photo)
Annapolis police issued five tickets to residents Wednesday for leaving their cars running unattended in streets and driveways across the city this week, causing a stir among some who were unaware of the law. (Patch file photo)
Annapolis police issued five tickets to residents Wednesday for leaving their cars running unattended in streets and driveways across the city this week, causing a stir among some who were unaware of the state law.

Police spokeswoman Amy Miguez said five residents were found in violation of the unattended motor vehicle state statute, which comes with a $70 fine.

In Thursday's police briefing, Miguez explained the law:

"Maryland Vehicle Law requires that a person 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. Officers will be out ticketing vehicles left running, unlocked and unattended with the key in the ignition all over the city."

Underscoring its importance, Miguez said 30 percent of cars stolen in Annapolis since September were the result of the vehicle's owners leaving them unattended and running.

The enforcement on Wednesday morning, when temperatures dropped to the teens, perplexed some on the police department's Facebook page. Travis Loop asked why it was against the law to warm up his car.

"Just a friendly suggestion: maybe give citizens a warning and inform them of the law, rather then a costly ticket," wrote Loop. "It is like punishing regular folks that are just trying to stay warm."

Miguez said police advise residents to take precautions and bundle up if they are going to warm their cars up before leaving in the morning.

"We understand that's a concern—yesterday was one of the coldest mornings of the year, but vehicles were still stolen," she said.

The law, Article 21, section 11.01 of Maryland State Code, is meant to prevent unauthorized use of the vehicle—whether by a thief or underage person; and to prevent situations where an improperly secured vehicle could roll into a roadway.
bill bissenas January 13, 2014 at 09:16 AM
WTF is going on in Maryland? How many dumb, statist laws can be passed?
Dan M. Vellucci January 13, 2014 at 04:38 PM
That's Annapolis. Their motto should be "We will do whatever we can to to make driving, parking or shopping inconvenient for people. After all, we're the State Capitol!"
mimi Shea January 14, 2014 at 08:55 AM
This article does not also say that it is unlawful to idle your car in MD for more than 5 minutes. http://www.turnyourengineoff.org/laws.html
marianne January 16, 2014 at 07:16 PM
so what about remote start do you get tickets when your car is locked and you use remote start..come one folks really...why don't you focus on catching the kids who are shooting people, pushing people down and beating them up.......really this state is really getting ridiculous if the bottom line is to close the state of Maryland your all doing a great job since people are rushing to move.....rain tax, etc.....
Shanna February 17, 2014 at 04:32 PM
I live in a quiet neighborhood on a cul de sac and I don't usually warm my truck up but when I have my grand kids and its below freezing I do warm it up for them. I run out there and just start it. I know every vehicle on my street and I doubt very very seriously that someone would be outside, on my cul de sac at 7 am in the morning, in below freezing weather, waiting to just see if I or a neighbor leaves a car/truck running..... without being noticed. I would never leave my vehicle running unlocked in an area where I felt it could be stolen and would never ever leave it unlocked and running while I run into 7-11. as for the tickets...... just another way for Maryland to make a buck off of you.

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