Some people will be screaming “of course you idiot” right now, but others – like me will be thinking – wait, what? It’s illegal?

Recently, as a bit of fun, I asked the question on our Facebook Page about if people leave their keys in the car at the Servo.

Well, didn’t that go off. Over 200 comments, mostly calling me a goose. Sure thing. But there’s times when I do it – at the shops, or the Servo.

You’re ducking in, it’s midnight – there’s no one around. Sometimes you just go for the simple dash.

But apart from being a dumb thing to do – did you know it’s illegal?

Yep, comes under regulation 213 of the Road Rules 2014 here in NSW called “Making a motor vehicle secure”.

Things that are going to attract a $112 fine include:

  • Leaving the vehicle with engine running
  • Leaving the vehicle unattended and not locking the doors
  • Leaving the vehicle unattended and not winding up the windows
  • Leaving the vehicle unattended and not removing the key
  • Failing to restrain the vehicle properly.

Unattended is basically walking more than 3 meters from the car, so it’s any “duck into the shop” scenario at all.

Oh, and if you think these rules only apply to you if you park on the roadside – our information is that service stations and car parks are “road related areas”, meaning these fines apply there too!

So – next time you’re ducking into the shops, turn the car off, remove the key, wind up the windows (can be up to 2cm open), put the park brake on, get out, lock the doors and do your thing.

Common sense you might say – but how common is it?