Forgetting to lock the car: that's an offence, sir!

Forgetting to lock the car: that's an offence, sir!

03 March 2012 By Lawyers Weekly

Here at Folklaw, we come across a lot of odd traffic-related offences, from dogs driving cars into shops,

Here at Folklaw, we come across a lot of odd traffic-related offences, from dogs driving cars into shops,one-armed bandits driving getaway cars, pooches slapped with parking fines... the list goes on, showcasing the more extreme ways of getting in trouble with the law.

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But one Queenslander has felt the brunt of law enforcement for a seeming harmless, if not forgetful error - not locking his car while parked.

According to reports in the Sunshine Coast Daily, a man, who has preferred to remain anonymous, was legally parked in a parking zone, dashed off to run some errands, and arrived back at his vehicle to find a $40 infringement notice for having "all four doors unlocked".

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Due to an archaic, and somewhat little known, Queensland law, it is an offence for drivers to leave an unattended vehicle unlocked, and wander a distance greater than three metres away from where their vehicle is parked.

The understandably miffed perpetrator of this crime exclaimed to the Daily: "This is a serious breach of my personal freedom - it is up to me to decide whether I tie my bootlaces or lock my car. Where does it end?"

The article sparked heated debate amongst the paper's readers, with the comments section of the paper's website inundated with opinions of Sunshine Coasties, both for and against the law.

One reflective reader arrived at the venerable conclusion: drive old bombs. "I used to drive old Peugeots... you could leave them parked anywhere with the keys in it and no one would steal it... what self respecting car thief would be seen dead in front of his peers, honing in a old pug".

So in the event of seeing someone fiddling with a car's door handles, Folklaw is assured that it will most likely be a humble police officer checking we've locked our cars. Viva la nanny state!

Forgetting to lock the car: that's an offence, sir!
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