Temperatures are dropping all across the nation. Here in Texas, we are still experiencing some very nice weather, but all Texans know that when it gets cold deep in the heart of Texas, IT. GETS. COLD. Which means that on a chilly morning your usual routine may be to start up the car and leave it running to get it nice and toasty while you finish getting ready for work. Well, you may want to rethink that plan because it's illegal!

According to Texas Transportation Code § 545.404, "a person may not leave a vehicle unattended without stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, setting the parking brake effectively and if standing on a grade, turning the front wheel to the curb or side of the highway." The law does not apply to vehicles that have remote start up systems and the key fob is with the owner.

Local authorities have also advised against doing this because you're at risk of having your car stolen. According to the FBI, nearly 500,000 cars are stolen every year, many are due to unattended cars with the keys in the ignition. On top of having your car stolen, you'll be slapped with a ticket up to $500 as it's a Class C misdemeanor.

While it may be tempting to start the car up to get it warm enough and run back in the house to finish gathering your things for the day, remember that a cold car is better than no car.

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