Judge lets hoon off council's road bill
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The Rangitikei District Council's attempt to force a teenage hoon to pay for $16,000 worth of damage to a road has been thrown out of court, with a judge telling the council if they want the money "they can sue him".
James Michael Cash, 18, pleaded guilty in the Marton District Court yesterday to a charge of sustained loss of traction.
Cash was arrested and accused of leaving 465 metres of skid marks on Wanganui Rd and Union Line after doing burnouts in the early hours of August 3. He also crashed his ute leaving the scene.
The Rangitikei District Council asked for reparation of $16,063 for damage to the road, but Judge Philip Moran was having none of it.
"If the Government want that amount, they can sue him."
He instead fined Cash $500, disqualified him from driving and ordered him to pay court costs.
Cash's lawyer, Simon Richardson, said his client took issue with the number, distance and location of the skid marks, saying he only caused "a few" of many existing skid marks on the road.
He did not make any on Wanganui Rd, just Union Line, he said.
Rangitikei District Council chief executive Ross McNeil said while no final decision had been made on whether the council would pursue Cash for the money, he did not think it would be worth the cost.
Mr McNeil said the reparation figure was reached after council was asked by police to determine what the cost would be to reinstate the road to its original condition, removing tyre marks and surface damage by resealing.
Council would not be resealing the area because the damage from this incident did not "significantly affect the overall quality or safety of the road," he said.
Mr McNeil said the council did not have a specific budget for dealing with intentional damage cases, and it was not a particular issue as far as he was aware.
- © Fairfax NZ News