Vehicle in snow

LEONARDTOWN, Md. – Whether you’re warming up your vehicle in the driveway on a cold morning or leaving your vehicle running outside of a store for a quick trip inside, it is illegal in Maryland to leave an unattended motor vehicle with its engine running. 

An unattended running vehicle is an open invitation to car thieves. Don’t give them the opportunity. 

Sec. 21-1101 of Maryland’s Vehicle Laws states, “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.” 

The fines for violation are $70 and one point assessed on a driver’s license or $110 and three points if contributing to an accident. 

Join the Conversation


  1. So let’s push the blame on the vehicle owner instead of the criminal. How about don’t steal property that isn’t yours.

  2. “the ignition locked”???
    Sorry, my ’57 doesn’t have an ignition lock. Whoops!
    “the brake effectively set”
    Ha! Ha! Ha!
    “until the engine is stopped”
    Teslas & etc. have motors not engines.

    The fools in Annapolis have been quite effective at creating idiot laws.

  3. So I pull up in front of wawa and my vehicle can sit there and run after I get out I hold the key pod in my hand and lock the vehicle because I have that. No one can get in the vehicle locked and running or locked and not running. Either way the thief can not get in. Unless he or she breaks a window so then it’s he or she that is breaking the law, then the funny part would be that the theif wouldn’t get to far before it shut down anyway because the vehicle has left the key or i should say the has left the vehicle safty shuts it down so this should be ok to do for people with this acquitted on their vehicles.

  4. The whole point in warming up your car is so that it is warm…I will not bring my kid in a freezing car with ice and frost all over it for us to sit there till it warms up for us to see out the windshield.

  5. Warming up your car so you can see out your windshield now illegal?
    What is wrong with people. You want us to sit in there and make it fog up more before it can defrost.

  6. What is the law regarding vehicles with an Automatic start. Whereas you can start your vehicle from your home, keyless entry. Does this warrant a citation?

    1. See, you Maryland FOOLS??!!! More stupid laws from Annapolis! This is what you get when you elect a bunch of dumb democrats!
      The cops cannot cite you for your car running IF your “auto start” feature is being used because the car is locked, there are no keys in the ignition, and it cannot be moved. If anyone steps on the accelerator or the brake, the car will shut off.
      As for the dopes that leave them running with the keys in it, even with the doors locked, you are a special kind of stupid and you deserve what you get!

  7. Another thing I can’t do on my own property as a result of no fault of my own. And sounds like the expensive remote start on newer vehicles is illegal. A waste of money, again no fault of my own. When do we start punishing the criminals?

  8. So, carjacking are going up in Maryland, but you more concerned about car owners leaving their vehicle running in their driveway unattended. 😆 🤣 😂

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