Fine for an unlocked car

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Did you know that in some States, you can actually get fined if you walk away from your car ‎without locking it? You can even get fined if your windows are wound down too far while ‎the car is unattended.‎

In Queensland and Victoria, for example, the law stipulates that a driver must lock their car if ‎they are more than three metres away from it, and windows must not be wound down more ‎than five centimetres. Failure to do so can result in Police issuing a fine of $40 in Queensland ‎and $117 in Victoria. If the offence goes in front of a magistrate in Victoria, the penalty ‎increases to $360.‎

Not all States in Australia have introduced such legislation, but this offence which has been ‎adopted by some State governments illustrates how serious they are taking car theft. ‎Effectively, the States are making individuals take some responsibility for helping to reduce ‎car theft. ‎

Such regulations are some of the measures that have been introduced to combat the ‎staggering number of car thefts. From organised crime gangs who rebirth cars for money ‎through to opportunists and joyriders who steal cars for cheap thrills, there are a range of ‎factors driving vehicle theft. In Australia, it has been found that opportunistic thieves are ‎responsible for about three out of every four stolen cars. ‎

Most new cars have sophisticated alarm systems so they are harder to steal, but such cars are ‎attractive targets for thieves if they can manage to get their hands on the keys. ‎

Older cars with little security account for the majority of thefts. All it takes is a few simple ‎tools and some basic knowledge, and most thieves can just hotwire a car and drive away.‎
Vehicles stolen by professional car thieves are much less likely to be recovered, but joyriders ‎will usually dump a stolen car once they are finished with it. While these vehicles are usually ‎recovered within a day or two, they are often the worse for wear with substantial collision ‎and/or mechanical damage. ‎

Furthermore, in a bid to remove DNA, fingerprints or other evidence that could help Police in ‎their investigations, opportunistic thieves often vandalise or burn out a car’s interior.‎
Both professional and amateur thieves can be attracted to cars by a range of security failures. ‎Unlocked car doors are an open invitation, as is easy access to a car’s keys, log books or ‎other identifying documents which are left in cars. Another common reason for car theft is ‎because valuables are left on display and the most common stolen items include cash, mobile ‎phones, computers, cameras, car stereos, GPS units, CDs and wallets.‎

Car insurance companies usually require that policy holders take reasonable steps to ‎safeguard and protect their vehicle. This means that if your car is stolen because you left it ‎unlocked, your car insurance claim might be declined. Furthermore, the theft of personal ‎items will usually only be covered if they were taken from a locked vehicle.‎

When it comes to the security of your car, play it safe, and don’t let yourself become a victim ‎of vehicle theft. Lock your car, place valuables in the boot or take them with you, and remove ‎the keys and keep them with you.‎