‘Ski’ stunt costs schoolie $500 and a court lecture

A SCHOOLIE who towed his mate behind his ute on the busy beach at Double Island Point apologised for being stupid to Gympie Magistrates Court yesterday but was given a dressing down and a $500 fine.

P-plater Christopher Liam Boyes, 17, tied a rope to the back of his ute just before Christmas and to the "flotation device" his mate was standing on, then drove along the beach while his mate tried to ski through the shallows of Double Island Point

It's a stunt that could have ended in tragedy, but which was spotted by police who regularly patrol the area at that time of year, landing the Yamanto student in court on a charge of driving without due care and attention.

The court was told that when the two schoolies saw police the friend being towed collected the rope, threw it into the back of the ute and retreated to the water, but it was too late, as they had already been spotted.

Police prosecutor Sergeant Lisa Manns said the risky stunt was made all the more dangerous because the beach was busy with other traffic, beach goers and swimmers.

"(His actions) could have resulted in quite substantial charges in relation to the friend he was towing and other people on the beach," Sgt Manns said.

Tewantin Senior Constable Craig McKenzie said it was this kind of behaviour that led officers to patrol Noosa North Shore up to Double Island Point on a regular basis.

"We have regular reports of anti-social behaviour and stupid driver behaviour in that area," he said.

"People get up there and think because it's a beach, road rules don't apply.

"That's because it is one of the few places in Australia where some people sunbake on the road.

"They (drivers) don't think of the consequences or what other people perceive that area to be."

Snr Const McKenzie said while some people viewed the beaches as a "route from A to B", others used it is their own playground.

"Everyone sees that particular area in a different context."

He said all purposes were fine, however drivers, often in "holiday mode", needed to be aware the road they were driving on had a variety of uses and that all road rules applied when on the sand.

"Mainly, people need to be aware that it is a road and all the road rules still apply.

"Sometimes what seems like a bit of fun... is an offence and might impact other users of that area."

For Boyes, that bit of fun cost him a court appearance, a $500 fine and a dressing down from Magistrate Graham Hillan about the "risks involved that you presented to the general public".

No action was taken on Boyes' licence, although Mr Hillan told the P-plater, who had no previous traffic convictions, that "you've certainly come very close".

Gympie Times


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