Unattended running cars considered illegal in ND, but not enforced

With such cold temperatures, many North Dakotans start their cars to heat them up before getting in. But, an old state century code says you can get fined for doing so.

The century code says quote "no person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle may permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine,"

"It's on the books, it's one of those antiquated statutes that maybe we'll probably take a look at in 2019," said Sen. David Hogue.

It was first introduced more than five decades ago, way before remote starters.

"I don't know in the history that I've been here that we've ever cited anybody for this," said Major Kelly Leben from the Burleigh County Sheriff’s Office.

Bismarck and Mandan Police departments agree.

"This is a common practice in North Dakota especially for everyone who has a car starter," said Hogue.

Law enforcement encourages people to lock their cars if they do leave the engine started, to avoid car thefts.