Breaking this New York City law could cost you up to $2K in just 3 minutes

Make sure your car isn’t left idling for more than 3mins in NY city.

Wow!! And the reasons NOT to go to NY just keep growing and growing… :no_entry_sign:

I know a lot of people love it there, and they can have it, and my niece is one of them, she and family go every year… To each their own…


Let’s see…it’s 20 degrees and there’s 4 inches of snow on my car. But I can’t let it warm up while I clear it to have a functional heater and defroster to be able to see while I’m driving. (unless I’m driving a bus?)

What a stupid law.


That’s nice. My wife and I now have my M-I-L’s Bronx apartment. I’ve been visiting there for 40 years in one of those “alternate side of the street” parking zones. Guess what? They’re not enforced.

There is no gigantic traffic cop force in NYC timing people on their idling. Relax.

That said, it’s not about not being allowed to warm up your car (you know, with the snow on it) for gosh sakes. It’s about sitting around putting out fumes for no good reason. Just shut the damned thing down while you wait. Why is that so weird? Save yourself some gas and everyone else some fumes. More and more cars have that built in.

There is plenty of sense in worrying about reducing street level emissions if possible. But if you go to NYC, don’t worry. There’s no big police force “surveilling” you. Talk about sensationalized B.S.


The residents of New York City want clean air? This must be a hoax. :face_with_monocle:

The Yahoo comments that follow the article show how disconnected people are with local laws, these statutes/ordinances are decades old and found in many cities.

Below is a court appeal against a citation issued June 14, 2000.


Similarly, there is no clandestine police force that will arrest someone who fuels his own vehicle in NJ.

Every time that I hear a sensationalized comment to the effect of, “It’s against the law in NJ to operate a gas pump yourself!!”, I ask that person to cite even one instance of a person being arrested, or even being detained, if he/she personally operated a gas pump, and didn’t let the gas attendant to do it.

Of course, nobody can cite any examples, because it’s never happened in the 60 or so years that this regulation has been on the books in NJ, and it would likely be equally hard to find anyone who was penalized in NY for excessive idling.

You live there now?


What is the point of passing a law that won’t be enforced? Or will it be selectively enforced? Seems like pandering to a select group.

Like everything else, there is a website for this;

1 Like

IMO all legislatures do that. In MD no one can own more than one liquor store. That law panders to the single proprietor liquor stores and especially the distributors. There is another law saying that all the liquor stores must buy from a state licensed distributor and that distributor must have a standalone warehouse. This means that the distibutor can’t run a big liquor store with a warehouse attached that he distributes from. I’m sure we could come up with plenty of laws that are similar.

Head to the website… there are a TON of those laws!

In NJ, the limit is two liquor licenses per person or corporation. Clearly, the independent liquor dealers “got to” some influential people in the state legislature, many years ago, and that regulation persists to the present day.

And, just to bring this back to cars, below is what I posted ~ 2 years ago, regarding the history of NJ’s “no self service” regulation regarding gasoline:

Because there is so much misinformation on the topic of full-service gas stations in NJ, I thought I would provide a link to an article on the origin of the regulation banning self-service stations. The regulation was actually requested (and paid for :wink:) by the state association of gasoline retailers, who objected to the cut-rate tactics of one retailer. The only thing that the article’s writer got wrong was the name of the gas retailer who kicked-off the debacle. His last name was Reinauer, not Reingold.

Yes, there are tons of laws pandering to special interests…

But back to my original question…

1 Like

I think that the “threat of enforcement” just might keep people from doing what the law/regulation prohibits.

The vast majority of people in NJ seem to think that they will be arrested/fined/detained if they dare to touch a gas pump themselves, and that keeps them sitting in their car while an attendant services their vehicle. Similarly, the signs posted at truck stops that “bar” the practice of excessive idling just might prevent a few truckers from further polluting the air that we breathe.


Some laws may have been enforced just after passage but have been ignored as society decided that they were yesterday’s rules and the state decided that they would not enforce them.

1 Like

I’m guessing this particular law is aimed at commercial operators idling truck/busses/delivery vehicles for long periods.


If there were diesel engines idling next to an office all day, the occupants would appreciate that regulation. Many laws are not enforced unless there is a complaint. An abandon vehicle parked in the street for example generally wouldn’t get much attention until parking enforcement is notified.

1 Like

This is the sign that is posted at truck stops in PA, but I have seen similar signs in other states, complete with the relevant ordinance number:


This is a CA sign:

This sign is posted in the parking lots of NJ State Parks:

Also, at schools…

… and in The UK:

1 Like

My son is there for now, gigging around in the NYC theater tech scene. I think when he and his girlfriend decide to move on (and thus stop paying the monthly expenses - it’s actually co-op) we’ll likely sell it.

Like Ohio’s restriction on bathtubs inside private homes… :roll_eyes:

Excessive idling is illegal in my area too. I don’t know what the time limit is. I’ve never heard of anyone getting a ticket. The most lengthy idling I see occurs at emissions-testing shops. I’m presuming they are excepted from this rule.