Drivers shocked by police warning over obscure rule during holidays

A Byron Bay man was shocked to receive a warning from NSW police that he may be fined for leaving his vehicle unlocked.

“Just given this and a small lecture in the car park behind Cavanbah arcade,” he wrote on Facebook along with a photo of a leaflet left by NSW Police stating that “your vehicle was found to be unlocked by police” and that the offence carries a fine of “$120 and up”.

The man also said he spotted police “going around and trying doors” as they put the warning leaflets under windscreen wipers.

nsw police warning of $120 fines for keeping vehicles unlocked
A man in Byron Bay returned to his car to find this warning from NSW police threatening $120 fines for leaving vehicles unlocked. Source: Facebook

The obscure rule has shocked car owners when the fine has been enforced in the past but NSW police told Yahoo News Australia the warnings are a “proactive strategy in an attempt to reduce opportunistic crime during the holiday period.”

Most people responded to the Facebook post stating they were aware of the law and some had been fined previously.

“It’s been a law for as long as I can remember,” one person responded.

“I got fined $135 for leaving my windows down, I appealed to no avail,” another Facebook user claimed.

Others praised the police saying ‘prevention is better than the alternative’.

“I think it’s great that police are reminding people to lock up,” one person wrote.

“I can think of higher priorities but it's a good approach, giving warnings,” another added.

But a few people questioned the legitimacy of the warning.

“Is it worth pointing out how poorly this notice is written?” someone asked

Byron Bay police confirmed to Yahoo News that they were conducting checks in the area but some people responding to the post have wondered if leaving the large warnings on windshields is just advertising to potential thieves that a vehicle is unlocked.

“Good way to mark the unlocked cars for people to break into,” someone wrote.

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