Why Skateboarding in a Tunnel is a Bad Idea

by The FindLaw Team

A Swiss tourist whose daring or stupid – depending on your point of view – skateboard  ride through the Burnley tunnel in Melbourne has resulted in a Victorian magistrate placing the skateboarder on a two year good behaviour bond, as well as the issuing of a $1000 fine after the tourist pleaded guilty to a charge of “reckless conduct endangering serious injury”.

To put the stunt in perspective, skateboarding through the Burnley tunnel is the equivalent of riding through the Lane Cove tunnel in Sydney, or the Clem Jones tunnel in Brisbane. To put it mildly, the actions of the skateboarder were very dangerous.

What is “reckless conduct endangering serious injury”?

The tourist was charged under s 23 of Victoria’s Crimes Act which states:

“A person who, without lawful excuse, recklessly engages in conduct that places or may place another person in danger of serious injury is guilty of an indictable offence.”

In order for a person to be found guilty to a charge of conduct endangering serious injury, the prosecution must prove that:

• the person voluntarily engaged in conduct which placed another person in danger of serious injury
• the person engaged in conduct that was reckless, and it was reasonably foreseeable that another person will be placed in danger as a consequence of their actions
• a reasonable person engaging in the same conduct, and under the same circumstances would realise their actions would be dangerous to another person.

What is the maximum penalty?

The maximum penalty for a person who is found guilty of a charge contrary to s 23 of the Crimes Act is up to five years imprisonment. So, the tourist should be somewhat thankful that his punishment was only a two year good behaviour bond and a $1000 fine. It could have been worse.

Perhaps the most severe punishment inflicted on the skateboarder by magistrate was the confiscation of the tourist’s skateboard.



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