The Cold Is Here! Is It Illegal To Warm Up Your Car In Iowa?
The cold has officially arrived in the Quad Cities. After being pretty spoiled by warmer-than-normal weather in October and November, Mother Nature has finally taken a nasty cold turn. One of the worst things about the cold is going to work or school and having to get into a cold car to do so. But can you legally warm up your vehicle in Iowa? We have the answer.
This is another great opportunity to remind you that if you can afford it and hate freezing your butt off for no reason, I strongly recommend you get a remote start for your vehicle. I don't care what brand because they all do one thing: Warm up your car!
Earlier this month, I gave those on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities a friendly reminder that in the state of Illinois it is illegal to warm up your car. It's only illegal in Illinois if you don't have a remote start and you leave your vehicle unattended. That could get you in trouble and a fine of up to $250.
But is it illegal to warm up your car in Iowa?
The answer to that question is: It used to be.
Before March 16, 2017, here is how Iowa Code 321.362 read:
No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, or when standing upon any perceptible grade without effectively setting the brake thereon and turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
Up until the Iowa House passed H.F. 312, the laws in Illinois and Iowa were essentially the same. Someone in Des Moines got smart and realized it's too damn cold to not start your car.
After the amendment to Iowa Code 321.362 was passed in March of 2017, this is now the law:
A person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall not permit the vehicle to stand unattended upon any perceptible grade without effectively setting the brake and turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.
So go ahead and warm up those cars in Iowa! But don't forget, the most important reminder for everyone in the Quad Cities is that the ultimate fine anyone could face on either side when they leave their car unattended is theft.
In 2020, because of the rising numbers of car thefts throughout the Quad Cities, over 20 law enforcement agencies, including the Illinois State Police, Iowa State Patrol, and the Davenport, Bettendorf, Moline, Rock Island, and East Moline Police Departments have started the #LockItDownQC campaign.
According to the official Lock It Down QC website,
The mission of Lock It Down QC is to prevent auto theft in the Quad City Area. Lock It Down QC is a cooperative effort of Iowa and Illinois Quad City Area law enforcement agencies.
On the Lock It Down QC website, officials outline three key actions Quad City citizens can take to prevent car theft including:
- Never leave your car running, even if you have your fob.
- Always lock your car.
- Never leave your keys in your car.
You can find more information and tips about #LockItDownQC here.
Trust me, it doesn't take long for a vehicle to be stolen. Last year in December, we wrote a story about how fast someone's car can be stolen out of their garage. Take a look for yourself below.