Police drop fine issued to teen L-plater caught driving with her mum during COVID-19 lockdown
Police have dropped a $1600 fine issued to a 17-year-old learner driver who was caught driving with her mum during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Sheree Reynolds was supervising her daughter, Hunter, as she drove from their Hampton home to Frankston at the weekend when the pair were pulled over by police and fined for non-essential travel.
“We didn’t think for one minute that we would be doing anything wrong. We weren’t in contact with any person, we weren’t stopping anywhere,” Sheree told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
“She [the police officer] said we were too far from home and we would cop a fine, and that Hunter would be the person to receive that fine.”
When the mother and daughter questioned the fine, Sheree said the police officer told her police were “smashing it on the roads today”.
For those asking – yes – we’ve seen a copy of the actual infringement notice handed yesterday to a 17yo L Plater having a training drive with mum in the rain yesterday. pic.twitter.com/VjZTkNJVni
— Heidi Murphy (@heidimur) April 6, 2020
Hunter said she was surprised by the incident.
“I was just shocked, because I obviously hadn’t done anything wrong, or so I thought. I was just really stressing,” the teenager said.
“If they felt that it was wrong a warning would have sufficed for that particular incident, and giving the fine to a 17-year-old was really quite ridiculous,” her mother said.
Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton on Tuesday announced the fine had been dropped because of a lack of clarity, but said it was legally issued.
“We will withdraw it because clearly that wasn’t widely understood by the public,” he told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.
But learner drivers caught in similar situations in future are unlikely to be so lucky.
“It has highlighted a significant issue in terms of something that needed clarity,” Mr Patton said.
“Undertaking a driving lesson by itself, to simply go off and drive out somewhere … with your parent, you’re not able to do it.
“It doesn’t sit neatly with any of those permitted exemptions.”
Press PLAY below for Sheree and Hunter’s interview.
Press PLAY below to hear what Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton had to say.