ALBURY solicitor Mark Cronin advanced an innovative argument that a mountain bike with a motor attached could not be classified as a vehicle.
But the argument lacked merit, according to Albury magistrate Tony Murray who yesterday in Albury Local Court handed down a written judgment finding Wodonga man Ross David Beale guilty of disqualified driving.
Beale, 27, had pleaded not guilty with Mr Cronin advancing his argument on a legal technicality.
“I say this is a bike, clearly a pushbike with an auxiliary motor,” Mr Cronin said when the case was heard in June.
Highway patrol officer Sen-Constable David Fuller saw Beale riding in Griffith Road, Bevan Street and McDonald Road where he stopped at a block of units on April 27.
Beale was not pedalling and the officer told him: “It’s a vehicle and it’s got a motor”.
The reply from Beale was: “But it’s a bicycle”.
He bought it off the internet and said his partner had the receipt.
It was claimed by Beale that several days earlier he had ridden past seven police officers doing random breath-testing in Dean Street, Albury, and no one looked at him.
He said there were about 50 in Albury-Wodonga.
Mr Murray said yesterday it was conceded by Mr Cronin that the engine capacity was a small 48cc motor with a maximum power of 1.2 kilowatts.
The bike is pedal and motor powered, changed with a flick of a switch.
Mr Murray said Mr Cronin’s submission was the meaning of “built” should be limited to the original manufacturing of the bike which he emphasised was not built to be propelled by a motor.
“It is clear this vehicle was not originally built with a motor that was designed to propel it,” Mr Murray said.
“However its subsequent modification or ‘rebuilding’ with the installation of the motor to propel it from then on immediately and irrevocably changed from that time until the removal of such motor.
“Further that immediately upon its removal it would revert to its former status.”
Mr Cronin sought an adjournment until October 8 for further instructions.