For the question of whether or not it’s illegal to leave a vehicle idling in Wyoming, the short answer is yes.

It’s not that there is some weird effort to make us sit in cold cars. It's not even really about the waste of gas. It's more about the fact that no one wants us to just give away a car to a thief. An idling car with the keys in it is like a sign that shouts "HEY, FREE CAR."

"We understand wanting to come back to a warm, cozy car," Cheynne police said in a statement recently. "(But) please lock your car and take the keys with you, even if it’s only for a second to get some Swedish Fish and a Red Bull."

MORE: Police Issue Warning After Multiple Vehicles Stolen in Cheyenne

I'd even say that if you have a fancy new car with a remote-start and security, the lure of a possible free car is enough to invite possible damage to your car.

Here’s the law in Wyoming, and nothing is left unclear about what is, and isn't illegal. According to Wyoming Statute 31-5-509:

No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition, removing the key from the ignition, effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon any grade, turning the front wheels to the curb or side of the highway.

The penalty is a misdemeanor charge and a possible $750 fine

Just for a bit of irony, idling is not even the best way to warm up a vehicle, even in cold weather. Just drive. Today’s engines need no more than 30 seconds of idling before driving away.

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