Recently, a bill that makes it legal to leave a vehicle idling while there is no one in it has been unanimously approved by the North Dakota House.

In North Dakota, most of us are guilty of it. We leave our vehicle running in the mornings with no one in it to warm it up. Not only for our own comfort, but it also saves time, and it's important for your vehicle to warm up as well. Especially when North Dakota temperatures can be downright bone-chilling and wind chills go below zero.

But what some people may not realize is the current law in place says that car-idling with no one in the vehicle is illegal and should you do it, you can face up to a $1,500 fine and 30 days in jail.

Earlier this week, Representatives endorsed the measure, 92-0. The North Dakota Senate will now review the bill.

The car-idling law was put on the books about 75 years ago to crack down on auto theft. In recent years, several states have enacted these laws in an effort to improve air quality.

However, the environmental group Sierra Club is for making car-idling legal. The group's North Dakota spokesman, Wayde Schaefer, says, "banning idling vehicles is futile in North Dakota, where it's considered a necessary evil because of brutal winter weather."

Veteran Bismarck Police Chief Dave Draovitch also said unattended idling vehicles is not something that officers enforce. This is good because I admittedly do it every morning and it saves me from lots of fines and jail time. Most people these days, like myself, have a remote starter with anti-theft systems that don't allow for the vehicle to be driven without a key.

This law is now one step closer to being overturned so we can all leave our vehicles running while unattended to our heart's content...or until our gas runs out, whichever comes first.

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