Australian drivers are being warned about a little-known road rule that could result in a hefty fine.
In Victoria, NSW and Queensland it is illegal to leave your car unlocked or with the windows open if you are more than 3m away from it.
However, a window is considered “safe” if it is less than 2 cm open.
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Victorians can be fined $117 locally, while in NSW you can be stuck with a $114 fine.
In Queensland, however, the penalty is a fine of up to $2669 – although fines can be much less locally.
“You must secure/lock your vehicle before leaving it parked on a street,” according to the Queensland government website.
“Your vehicle is considered unattended if you are more than 3m away from it.”
In Western Australia, the same rule applies if you leave your car unlocked, although the penalty is only $50.
The little-known rule sparked a heated debate online after it was shared on a TikTok.
“I never lock my car by the servo!” One user commented.
“What’s happening? It’s my car,” said another.
“I know of cops who have booked people to have their cars unlocked in their driveway on their own property,” recalled another.
It comes after the Queensland Department for Transport and Main Roads warned of another little-known road rule that could result in a fine and a loss of three demerits.
The Department warned last week that eating or drinking while driving can “seriously” distract drivers – another rule that could result in fines in other Australian states if violated.
“You can be fined $575 and 3 demerits (in Queensland) if you are not in proper control of your vehicle – or if you drive without care or attention,” it warned in a Facebook post.
“So make sure you don’t operate the wheel with one hand or take your eyes off the road while eating.”
While it’s not technically illegal to eat or drink while driving, motorists can be fined if it causes a driver’s distraction.
The police therefore have the right to stop you and can also fine you hefty if they think eating or drinking while driving is affecting your ability to drive.
In NSW the fine is US$448 and a loss of three demerits, but this penalty increases to US$561 and four demerits if the offense is committed in a school area.
Meanwhile, drivers in Victoria face a $387 fine and a loss of three demerits for the offence.
https://7news.com.au/travel/driving/little-known-road-rule-that-could-land-aussie-drivers-with-114-fine-if-broken–c-8780168 Transport QLD, NSW, VIC: Little known highway code that could fine Australian drivers $114