Leaving Car Unlocked and Windows down

A bit of interesting read: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/lawyer-has-charge-of-lea...

Basically the accused has admit the wrong doing but the judge dismissed it with no particular reason.

Does that mean this case sets the legal precedence and can be used to challenge all future fines?


  • +1

    "he had taken his keys, making it impossible to steal the car"
    yeah, nah

    • How else are you going to steal a car with immobilisation embedded in the ecu/reader/cluster?

  • +2

    Does that mean this case sets the legal precedence and can be used to challenge all future fines?

    You will find no judge is going to summarily dismissed speeding, dangerous driving and resisting arrest.

    As for leaving the windows down I had no idea this was even an offence, I generally don't do it rarely even on a hot day.

    But if I did I'd be cheese off to have to pay a fine.

    If this is about keeping crime, hence insurance down, couldn't this be done at the individual level where insurance companies reduce coverage or deny coverage for thefts where windows are open?

    But even in this case, the driver had the key, in most modern cars, its going nowhere.

    • Road Rule 213 deals with making your car secure… (Don't know what the equivalent rule is for WA, since they are basically their own country anyway…)

      In NSW, it is a $116 fine and no points.

      Rule 213 (5) - Not secure windows/lock doors (vehicle unattended) - $116

      Edit: For the record, the applicable road rule for WA is #181 (2)(d) of the WA Road Traffic Code…

      • We need a Donald trump to go through and erase most of these laws, for every 10 they can keep 1. That ought to do it.

  • +7

    I do wonder though.
    Is leaving your convertible roof open when parked illegal then?

    But agreed it does set a precedent, although the fact he was still found guilty just not fined/charged might get around it.

    • (5) If the driver will be over 3 metres from the closest part of the vehicle and there is no-one left in the vehicle, the driver must—
      (a) if the windows of the vehicle can be secured—secure the windows immediately before leaving the vehicle, and
      (b) if the doors of the vehicle can be locked—lock the doors immediately after leaving the vehicle.

      (6) For the purposes of subrule (5), a window is secure even if it is open by up to 2 centimetres.

      I am guessing that if the roof is gone, it would be impossible to secure the windows.

      • A few years back a friend was approached by a police sergeant as he was about to walk away from his parked convertible.
        He was advised that he needed to ensure the windows were all the way up and the doors locked else he could be ticketed.
        The sergeant agreed it was a ridiculous law but that it was applied that way.

        • I've locked the doors on mine a few times with the roof down, just to comply with the law, but forgot about the windows.

          Usually lock the centre console and glove box too.

          Really they should retire this law now that immobilisers are compulsory.

          • +1

            @md333: The law is also to help stop theft from cars, not just theft of the car as well. It stops you from leaving the keys in the car while you go get fuel, while the law acknowledges that not all vehicles can actually be locked.

            • @Euphemistic: I doubt that was the reason for the law, just the argument people make to justify keeping it.
              There is a plausible argument that allowing your car to be stolen should be an offence since stolen cars can be dangerous, but having the contents stolen is only really a problem for the owner.
              The current rule also makes it an offence to leave the car unlocked even if there is nothing in it to be stolen.

    • Interesting point. I used to do this from time to time when I had a convertible, but generally only in front of my house or somewhere I was nearby like a cafe or something.

  • +1

    The thing that I wonder, what about a convertible with the top down?

    Edit: Jinx by 20 seconds Drakesy :p

    • Jinx


    • +1

      On the same page ;)

  • +2

    The thing that I wonder, what about a convertible with the top down?

    Edit: Jinx by 200 seconds beeawwb :p

  • If leaving one's window open is $170, should leaving the top down be worth 1 year less good behaviour?

  • +2

    I was told by an insurance assessor that leaving the windows down and a vehicle unlocked could cause my insurance company to refuse coverage in the case of theft or damage etc as they could claim that the vehicle was not secured as per insurance policy.

    Never felt the need to test their theory out, just in case.

    • That just seems logical to me.

  • +2

    … the judge dismissed it with no particular reason.

    No, the article clearly states the magistrate dismissed it under "section 10(1)(a) of the Crimes Sentencing Procedure Act."

    • +3

      Was about to say the same thing. It wasn't dismissed "for no reason." The accused plead guilty and would have requested a section 10, and it seems it was granted due to the grievous and heinous nature of the crime perpetrated by this immoral citizen.

  • +1

    Does that mean this case sets the legal precedence and can be used to challenge all future fines?

    No. But it seems you need to do some more homework on what a Section 10 dismissal is… I believe that something only becomes a legal precedent if the accused pleads not guilty and it is then taken to trial. In this case, it was plead as guilty and a dismissal of the charges (Section 10) was requested and granted.

    • Yep. Can get a section 10 on all sorts of things if you have a good history.

      • Or seemingly you’re part of the legal club.

        • being a lawyer didn’t make much difference to this case - and he wouldn’t get a second.

  • +1


  • +1

    My tax dollar hard at work!

  • -2

    So if someone releases the handbrake and outs the transmission in neutral, rolls it down a hill and causes millions of dollars damage, or runs people over/kills them, then that is a trivial matter? Good to see selfishness winning over common sense.
    And if the car has a proximity key that does not guarantee no one can start the vehicle if he is in a corner store and the vehicle is parked outside. Typical eastern suburbs resident, self centered and stuck-up.

  • -1

    By the same principle, there should be fines for those caught failing to look after their health by smoking, drinking, overeating, etc. Those all raise the cost of health insurance and/or Medicare costs for the community.
    Stupid arbitrary law, which judges should be able to see for what it is.

    • Some things are easier to implement than others. You can't change or enforce a lifestyle, but something as simple as encouraging people to protect their property is easier.

      Even if insurance denies claims, a cop would still have to spend time listening to you.

      • Trying to change behaviours (i.e. smoking) may not be easy, but if there isn't an effort it certainly won't happen. New Zealand don't seem to be put off by the challenge:

        • We have similar things as well in Australia, and even at organisation level ie. Employers having health initiatives.
          It's a big improvement from the days when "smoko" was termed.

          • +1

            @Ughhh: No government in Australia is committed to a smoke-free country, or state, or city, etc.
            Maybe they like the tax income.

            • @GG57: Given the amount of anti vaxers and peoples response to lock downs just so we don't end up like the US or India…. Yeh nah.

              You can't completely ban it unless you want to go full dictorship.

              Even if you ban it and make it illegal, it'll just be another income stream for the drug dealers. At least you don't have to worry about contamination if you buy from a retail store.

              • -1

                @Ughhh: Did you read the article I linked to? The NZ government has committed to it.
                As I said, if there isn't an effort it certainly won't happen.

                At least NZ it trying something.

                • -1

                  @GG57: On paper =/= what always happen in reality, still got at least another decade to prove their commitment . How often to politicians say they're "committed" to something then it's forgotten.

                  Every time I turn the TV on, I see an ad about quit smoking. I believe TV ads aren't cheap.

  • +1

    Reminds me of the time a few years ago when I parked my Tarago in a loading zone as I thought it was classified as a station wagon type vehicle, but was fined. At the time I was working in Real Estate so often had signs etc in the vehicle. I took it to court but before appearing I discovered that Taragos were classified as a people mover/bus. So I decided to plead guilty with an explanation. The funny thing is that the magistrate thought the same as me and said I should plead innocent and asked me to discuss the case with the on-duty lawyer. I explained the classification to him and we returned to the court. The lawyer explained the situation to the magistrate describing it as "an absurdity of the law" as Taragos are very similar to station wagons and vans since the back seats can be folded up etc. The magistrate then accepted the guilty plea but recorded no conviction and no fine was payable. Then 3 months later the same thing happened again even though I had even left a note on my windscreen explaining the previous case. This time the officer who booked me had left the forceso the case was dismissed without a court appearance. After the kids grew up we sold the Tarago and now drive a Mazda 3 :)

    • Yeah loading zone is such a grey area. My SUV is classified as a panel van, go figure, but I have never feel the need to test parking at a loading zone. Right or wrong, the potential time wasted is just not worth it.

    • My friend had a BMW 3 series wagon, and it qualified as being allowed to park in a loading zone. My understanding is not only must it be in a wagon form, but there must also be available a sedan in the same vehicle. That excludes some things like say a Subaru Forrester or a Ford Territory.
      He parked all the time in loading zones (for the allowed time limit).

      • It depends on what classification if the vehicle according to the rego. Yes, it’s a bit arbitrary, but your rego papers say it in print.

        • +1


          Woot! Free parking!

  • Most thieves are opportunists, lock up your car, wind up the windows, cover your car, park in garage if you can, less risk less problem

    • Lock the garage, block the windows in the garage, hide the remote, turn the door off at the switch, eat the keys, take the wheels off the car, brick up the door….

  • It is illegal, and possibly depends of the Magistrate on the day.
    A friend of mine back in the 70's challenged the "limb out from window" - he won and the legislation was changed accordingly.
    How could you pay road toll, or drive through fast food, if this law was inforced.

    • LoL at changing legislation because of your "friend".

      And pray tell, what did they change about the legislation after your "friend" won this landmark case…