A mountain biker who drove his bike to a park near his home for a ride was slapped with a hefty fine this week after an officer told him he’d breached coronavirus safety restrictions.
Pat Riordan from Bonbeach in south east Melbourne was driving alone in his ute to Red Hill to go mountain biking, for exercise.
He told The Age he’d been driving for about 15 minutes when he was pulled over by police on the freeway, who questioned him about what he was doing.
“I had my bike in the back of my car. I was on my own. I was just headed off to the trail to have a ride and do some exercise,” Mr Riordan said, saying he didn’t think he was at all in the wrong.
But he was handed an on the spot fine of $1652 for “unnecessary travel” and told he shouldn’t be moving about unless it was for work.
The mountain biker’s fine was later rescinded after being publicised, but he was fined on the same day a young woman was slapped with a hefty fine for going on a driving lesson with her mum.
Learner driver Hunter Reynolds, 17, was also fined for breaching stage three coronavirus restrictions. Ms Reynolds was caught going for a driving lesson with her mum over the weekend.
The pair had travelled about 30km from their Hampton home to Frankston.
“We didn’t think for one minute that we would be doing anything wrong,” Sharee Reynolds told 3AW on Monday.
“We weren’t in contact with any person, we weren’t stopping anywhere, we weren’t planning on visiting any destinations, we were just learning to drive in those conditions.
The teenager was given a $1652 on-the-spot fine for breaching the stage three restrictions, but the pair earlier announced they plan to challenge it in court.
The officer told them they had been “smashing it on the roads today”.
On Monday, Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton said there was a possibility the fine would be reversed.
“It’s quite possible it will be withdrawn because the public is now aware they can’t be doing that activity, unless of course it’s mixed in with driving to the shops where you are exempt to go and buy food, those sort of things,” he said.
Mr Patton said a decision on whether to withdraw the fine would include an assessment of all circumstances.
In the 24 hours to Wednesday, Victoria Police issued 114 fines for breaches of the state’s level three lockdown restrictions.