Every morning before work I warm up the car and take the dog for a walk. When I am ready to roll the heat is up to temp and I'm not freezing sitting on the leather seats. This routine of mine, and maybe yours, is a violation of Section 1210 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law! Who knew?

What that means is, a $150 hit on your wallet starting December 6th! The Albany Police Department are launching their “Lock It Up” campaign and if you fail to "lock it up" you could get a ticket!

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Starting today, police will be looking for motorists that start their vehicle and leave it running unattended with the keys inside. Don't do it at the gas station, your home, mall, your workplace. Anywhere they see an idling car unattended could land you a ticket.

For the next 2 weeks you should be able to avoid a ticket as officers hand out some educational material and possibly a lecture. Starting around December 6th, no more lectures, it's ticket time. Those ticketed could face a fine up to $150 as well as a court imposed surcharge.

The goal is to prevent stolen vehicles. As I think about it, leaving the car running in the morning while I walk the dog is dumb. Anyone watching could just hop in and drive away. What would I be able to do at that point?

According to Albany Police Department, in 2021, 55% of motor vehicles reported stolen were left unlocked and 27% of those were left running unattended and 33% of vehicles broken into and had items stolen from them were reported to be left unlocked.

To report an incident of motor vehicle theft contact the Albany Police Department at 518-438-4000.

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