Australian couple receive parking fine over little-known road rule
The obscure road rule cost the family $112 despite their car being parked in front of their own home.
A couple in Sydney, Australia have received a parking ticket for leaving the window of their ute open while it was parked, despite it being in front of their own home and in plain sight of the owner.
Little-known to be an offence, the $112 (£62 or US$79) fine was issued by a member of the NSW Police Force despite owner Richelle Amey's husband being mere metres away doing some work in the front garden of the family's Caringbah South home.
Speaking with Nine News, Ms Amey claims the officer asked her husband who the vehicle's owner was, before responding, "I'm going to fine you for not having your window secured – what if your wallet was in there?"
"I'm disgusted that this type of fine would be issued during a pandemic," Ms Amey added.
"Fair enough if the car was open and had valuables in it and he wasn't there – but people are struggling right now."
Photo: Gary Stephens on Flickr (licensed under CC BY 2.0)
Claiming in a Facebook post that she "never knew this was a crime," Ms Amey could perhaps be forgiven for not knowing of it as to find the relevant rule, you'll need to do quite a bit of digging to find it.
Specifically, you'll have to go all the way to NSW Road Rule 213, Subsection 5 which states that, "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 [...] secure the windows immediately before leaving the vehicle."
While an exception to the rule does allow for the windows to be cracked no more than two centimetres – leaving the windows cracked slightly open is, of course, beneficial on hot summer days in a climate like Australia's – but in this instance, the windows were left open more than the two centimetre allowance.
As 7NEWS reports, however, the response to the incident was mixed on social media, with some claiming that it's yet another way of supposed revenue raising, while others were less sympathetic and noting that it did leave the Amey family vulnerable to having items in their vehicle stolen, if not the vehicle itself.