Vic L-plater fined over COVID-19 rules

A $1600 fine issued to a Victorian learner driver who breached strict stage three coronavirus restrictions is being reviewed.

Hunter Reynolds, 17, was learning to drive in wet conditions with her mother supervising in the car when a police officer pulled them over on the weekend.

The pair had travelled about 30 kilometres 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.

“She (the 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.”

The teenager has been given a $1652 on-the-spot fine for breaching the stage three restrictions, but the pair plan to challenge it in court.

“I was just shocked, because I obviously hadn’t done anything wrong, or so I thought. I was just really stressing,” the teenager told 3AW.

Ms Reynolds said a warning would have sufficed and fining a teenager was “really quite ridiculous”.

The officer told them they’d been “smashing it on the roads today”.

There is community confusion over the COVID-19 stage three restrictions which stipulate you should only leave home for essentials and when doing so you should stay close to home.

On Monday the force’s top brass said it would be reviewing the fine.

“Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton is aware of the incident where a learner driver, on the roads with their mother, was issued with a penalty notice for breaching directions issued by the Chief Health Officer,” a Victoria Police spokesman said.

“He has spoken to Assistant Commissioner Bob Hill regarding the matter who is following up the circumstances surrounding the incident.

“Assistant Commissioner Hill will review the matter and see whether discretion could have been used in this instance.”

In the 24 hours to 8am on Monday, Victoria Police issued 108 fines for breaches of the state’s level-three lockdown restrictions.

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