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Cheers - AE

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Selling your car? BANNED! - UPDATED

Good laws are instinctively easy to understand, and given that ignorance of the law is supposedly no defence that's pretty essential. The opposite situation, where people find themselves breaking the law without knowing or even having a reasonable expectation that they may not have acted legally, is not only undesirable and unjust but is also likely to damage the relationship between citizens and the judicial system. Either this has been forgotten or never learned in Adelaide where, to the surprise of many residents, it is now illegal to put a for sale sign in your car. And it might not stop in Adelaide.
THE old-fashioned money-saving practice of placing a "for sale" sign in your car window could soon be illegal across the state, with councils starting to introduce a controversial new by-law.

Car owners are already being fined up to $100 by some councils for displaying the signs on their vehicle, even while it is legally parked at a kerbside.

At least seven councils have adopted the by-law - drafted by the Local Government Association - which makes it illegal to display advertising signs on your car when parked in public. Onkaparinga Council says it has issued more than 100 of the $100 fines since banning roadside ads in January.

Morphett Vale resident Megan Walkley, 28, said she was fined after she parked her car, with its for sale sign, outside her home just before Easter.

"I had only parked on the road because we were planning to have a (rubbish) skip delivered that day to the driveway," Ms Walkley said.

"I got a shock when I got the fine, I'd never heard of that by-law before and you see parked cars with for sale signs all the time."


Independent state MP Bob Such said the by-law was unjustified revenue raising and he would introduce a Private Member's Bill to State Parliament this week to overturn it.

"Council by-laws like these are whittling away people's basic rights and seeing them getting pinged by the petty hand of bureaucracy," Dr Such said. "This is of concern because the wording of the by-laws means they could also apply - if the council wants to get nasty - to the plumber who parks his car on the road with his name and phone number on his van."

Dr Such said visiting your sick mother in the wrong council with a for sale sign displayed on your car could result in a fine, even if you live in a different council area.
In other words not only must people in Adelaide be thoroughly familiar with their local by-laws but also those in force anywhere and everywhere they might visit. And why is this necessary?
Onkaparinga public health and safety manger Chris Button said the by-law was adopted by the outer southern suburbs council after complaints from residents about cars for sale left parked in prominent places.

"They are typically parked on arterial roads or busy intersections, creating a traffic hazard," he said.

"I know at least six other councils have adopted this by-law and another 15 plan to put it in place when they next review their by-laws."
Translation: some cars were parked inconsiderately or in unsafe places and we couldn't be bothered to deal with them when it's so much easier to just fine everyone who puts a home made 'For Sale' sign on the windscreen, not to mention more profitable.

I'm not sure if this upsets me more because it's liberty lost through laziness rather than from an actual attack. It's not like someone has decided that it's dangerous like the whole 'legal high' thing and therefore it must be stopped for everyone's good. It's just that liberty has such a low value put on it that nobody could be bothered to deal with this small problem in such a way as to not trample on the freedom of the sensible majority.

Your liberty... just not important these days. Not if you're flogging a car in Adelaide anyway.

UPDATE - courtesy of Chuckles in the comments I see this isn't just an SA thing but also a UK thing. Should we even be surprised?


Chuckles said...

They're just copying the UK, been illegal here for years, in a number of variants - e.g.

I think if you drive around with a notice on a window or park in your driveway, they get you for trading without a licence or similar.

Angry Exile said...

There too? Oh for fuck's sake.

JuliaM said...

No, we shouldn't be surprised. And yet, we always are...

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