An Ottawa man found out the hard way that leaving your car doors unlocked will cost you, not because of theft but because of a fine. That's right, you will be subject to a $52 fine if you are caught parking and leaving your car unattended with your doors unlocked.
David Carriere says he feels robbed by a $52 ticket after he was handed a ticket for leaving his car unlocked. The police in Gatineau, Quebec cited a law that states, "No person may leave unattended a road vehicle that is in his custody without previously removing the ignition key and locking the doors."
Carriere said he was walking to a nearby restaurant after parking when he remembered he forgot to lock his car. When he turned around and got back to his car he thought a robber was sussing out his vehicle but as he got closer he saw the man had on a uniform.
"I thought I was seeing someone robbing cars or something like that," Carriere said. "As he got closer, it became apparent that he was wearing some kind of uniform. So then I took him to be a security guard. Maybe he was patrolling the parking lot to make sure the patrons of the parking lot are using the services of the shops."
"He said, ‘I have to give you a ticket.’ I said, ‘It’s okay. I’m at the Baton Rouge. I can be parked here.’ He said, ‘No. It’s for not having your car doors locked," Carriere said. Gatineau police have issued 467 of the questionable tickets so far in 2017.
Sgt. Jean-Paul Le May says the law is meant to reduce property theft crimes but that is circular logic. How does punishing people who haven't committed a crime simply because of the fact that criminals exist help anything? This is yet another way for the government to reach into the pockets of citizens and profit.
Le Mays said, "We call out to all citizens to help us prevent crime," he said. "An easy way to prevent crime is starting by locking your doors, whether it’s from your car or your house." Great job guys, let's punish tax paying citizens simply for the fact that criminals exist!
Carriere explained to the officer ticketing him that he was only in the restaurant for two minutes before returning to lock his car. Carriere explained, "He (the officer) said ‘too late’ and he was just doing his job."
He went on to vent on Facebook saying, "Instead of catching people breaking into cars they are punishing people who are not committing a crime. And in my case, someone who was in the process of complying with a bylaw I did not know existed."
"Ah, the nanny state. Next time I visit I will lock the doors but leave the windows rolled down. As I read it, that is not technically illegal," Carriere wrote on Facebook. "Any other stupid bylaws I should be aware of?"
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Outrageous that government thinks this is ok. This should call for a serious investigation into the cities statutes.
Rather than remonstrating online with the Gatineau police, which really is just emotional deflection of his ignorance and shame at being caught out by their bylaws, Mr Carriere should become a beacon of civil obedience for all others and simply pay up; not least in consideration for the very violent criminals who can bring about serious personal damage to innocent Canadians with the use of just one unlocked vehicle.