RCMP change ticket to warning for leaving car unlocked
An office worker at a school in B.C. was almost handed an $81 ticket by the RCMP for having the windows in her car rolled down.
Tara Ludvigson has parked her car in the same spot outside Woodlands Secondary School in Nanaimo – with the windows open on hot days – for seven years, reports the Nanaimo Daily News.
But on one particular hot day this past September, Ludvigson had her parking preferences challenged by an RCMP officer, who said, to her disbelief, that having her car's windows down and doors unlocked constituted leaving it "unsecured."
"I looked around and wondered where the 'candid cameras' were," she told the Nanaimo Daily News.
After confirming it was Ludvigson's car in the parking space outside the school, the officer tried to hand her an $81 ticket for violating Section 191, subsection 2 of the B.C. Motor Vehicle Act, Ludvigson recalls.
"That's when I really became upset," she says. When she explained she'd never heard of a law forbidding leaving your windows open, the officer replied "Ignorance of the law is not an excuse."
The section of the Act cited by the officer reads: "A driver must not permit a motor vehicle to stand unattended or parked unless the driver has [...] locked it or made it secure in a manner that prevents its unauthorized use."
The officer then pointed out she'd left her doors unlocked, and that the car was thus unsecured.
"I said, 'if I'm leaving my windows open, why would I lock the doors?'" Ludvigson replied. She'd previously owned a convertible, she told him, and left it parked in public with the roof down, but had never been handed a ticket for it. "To me, that's a lot less secure than leaving your windows down."
The officer eventually dropped the fine and let Ludvigson off with a warning instead.
(Nanaimo Daily News via the Vancouver Sun)