An $81 Ticket—For Leaving Your Car Window Down?

cop ticket

That’s what happened to this lady:

In Nanaimo, Canada, Tara Ludvigson-Hill thought someone was playing a joke on her when she received an $81 ticket for parking her car with the windows rolled down.

When Ludvigson-Hill parked at her workplace on a hot day, she left her windows open and thought nothing of it. She told the Nanaimo Daily News, “I’ve been parking in the same spot for years and when the weather is hot, I leave my windows open. I have never heard of anything so ridiculous.”

The citation was issued for violation of Section 191 subsection 2 of the British Columbia Motor Vehicle Act which states that parked vehicles must be secured. Like many others, Ludvigson-Hill was not aware of the law. The officer told her that ignorance of the law was not an excuse, but eventually gave her a warning and no fine was issued.

As an American I enjoyed a good chuckle at this Canuck’s expense…until I remembered what we do here in Massachusetts:


There’s nothing worse than a bored law enforcement officer, as a few Beverly, Massachusetts residents learned firsthand when the local police went around checking vehicles for unlocked doors and open windows. Owners received warnings for failing to protect their property and officers proceeded to lock every door they could, including vehicles with their keys still inside.

Petty thieves had been swiping iPods, GPS devices and prescription drugs from unlocked vehicles, and the police felt that a few hard lessons would change residents’ perceptions on securing their belongings.

At least the Canadian cops didn’t lock this lady out of her own car! So, are the cops right? Should you get a ticket for not locking all your car doors, or for leaving the window down? How FAR down—all the way, or a small crack to let out the heat?

How about “the cops leave me alone” and “I suffer the consequences of my own actions?” Sounds like a good system to me.

Michael Graham
Radio talk show host, columnist for the Boston Herald, stand-up comic and former GOP political consultant. Learn more about Michael here.

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