A man from Australia was slammed with a hefty fine after the police pulled him over for ‘unnecessary travel’ as he was on his way to mountains to exercise.
34-year-old Pat Riordan from Melbourne was stopped by police officers as he was on the way to a mountain bike trail where he typically exercises.
Despite having his bike loaded at the back of his car and explaining to the cops that it’s allowed to exercise despite the lockdown, the man was issued an infringement notice saying he should pay AUD 1,652 (around USD 1,000).
As per the tightened restrictions, all social gatherings consisting of more than two people, excluding members of the same household, are prohibited in Australia.
In addition, residents are not allowed to go outdoors unless they have a justified reason such as buying essentials, going to work, attending medical care, or exercising.
“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 in an interview with 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.
“The police officer said you shouldn’t be leaving your home unless it’s for work. If you want to exercise you should do a run around your local area.”
While the police officer initially insisted it was prohibited to exercise away from one’s home region, Dr Brett Sutton, chief health officer, appears to have had cleared the confusion surrounding lockdown restrictions as he tweeted: “Yes, you can drive directly to a place of exercise if there’s nothing adjacent to your home.”
After the bicyclist’s story went viral, The Age has reportedly contacted the police and been informed that Riordan’s fine would be withdrawn.
In another similar incident in the country, three friends were issued the same fines after breaking coronavirus lockdown by meeting to play video games together.
According to the reports, Victoria Police caught the trio amid a spot check at one of their homes where they were seen playing video games.
After finding out that the friends didn’t live together, the officers fined them AUD 1,652 each for ‘unnecessary travel.’
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