A $112 fine and the loss of three demerit points for standing more than three metres away from your unsecured vehicle might sound tough, but police say there are very good reasons for this law.
There are a few little-known laws for NSW motorists, and a number of recent incidents in the NSW Central West have highlighted exactly why they exist.
NSW Police Western Region Traffic Tactician Inspector Ben Macfarlane said two recent pursuits were due to vehicles being left unlocked.
In Dubbo a medium sized rigid truck was left idling in the owner's driveway while they went inside.
"Within a minute the owner heard the vehicle driving away and gave chase without success. The owner and one of the offenders were injured," Insp Macfarlane said.
It's the extra information, shared by Orana Mid Western Police District officers, that sheds further light on this incident.
The owner of the vehicle then jumped into the rear tray in an attempt to stop the theft.
Road rules - if the driver will be more than three metres away from their vehicle, and no-one else is in that vehicle, you must: secure your windows, lock your doors and remove your keys.
"It is alleged the 23-year-old driving the truck, began to swerve and drive recklessly in an attempt to dislodge the owner from the rear," officers said.
"Shortly after … two men jumped from the moving truck. The 21-year-old man, was actually hit by the truck and sustained injuries."
He was then arrested at the scene.
Orana Mid Western police officers said the 23-year-old has since been charged with 30 offences relating to this incident and others he was wanted for in Dubbo and Bourke.
The day before that incident, a vehicle was left unsecured outside a bakery in Molong.
"The vehicle was left running and was subsequently stolen by persons unknown," Insp Macfarlane said. "It was involved in a number of pursuits that day and later located burnt out."
Lithgow police have also had reason to call on residents to ensure their vehicles are properly secured.
"Residents should take precautions against thieves after a series of unlocked cars were entered and had items removed from them over the weekend," officers said.
Other lesser-known road rules
- Motorist can be fined $448 and lose three points for eating while behind the wheel
- Parking an unregistered car on the road can incur a $673 fine
- Failing to notify the NSW Government about a driver's change of name or address can lead to a $112 fine
- A driver can be fined $337 and lose three points, or $448 and lose four points in a school zone, if they can watch images or videos on a TV/VDU device installed in the car
- A $337 fine and loss of three demerit points can be given to the driver if their passenger is not wearing a seatbelt