A mountain biker in Australia has been fined $1,000 for driving his bike to a park to go for a ride. The police officer who issued the fine said that the man had violated coronavirus safety restrictions.
Pat Riordan of Melbourne, Australia, loaded his bike onto his car and was on his way to the park. However, after only a brief time on the road, an officer pulled him over and began questioning him.
“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,” Riordan told The Age.
“The policeman said it was a routine stop and asked what I was doing today. My answer was ‘I’m going mountain biking alone’. I didn’t think I was in the wrong at all.”
As The Age reports, “Mr Riordan was fined $1652 for ‘unnecessary travel’. The infringement notice stated it was owing to ‘travelling from Bonbeach to Red Hill to bike ride’, despite exercise being one of four permitted reasons to leave home in Victoria.”
“The police officer said you shouldn’t be leaving your home unless it’s for work,” Riordan said. “If you want to exercise you should do a run around your local area.”
It certainly seems odd that there would be a rule against directly commuting to a location to do solo exercise. Indeed, the police rescinded the fine against Riordan, The Age reported.
Deputy Police Commissioner Bratton attempted to clarify the coronavirus travel restrictions, by saying that officers should adopt a “common sense” approach to regulating travel. For example, saying that officers should shift their focus to “deliberate, obvious and blatant” violations, such as large parties.
Riordan, despite his unfortunate brush with the law, believes the restrictions are “doing a great job” in helping to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
“I just don’t want to see other people getting the same fine as me, thinking they are within their rights to be driving to do their exercise,” Riordan said.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn