Skateboarder refuses to pay fine

01:19, Aug 19 2010
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UNHAPPY: Skateboarder Sascha Krueger was fined $750 for skateboarding in New St.

A Nelson skateboarder hit with a $750 fine for cruising down New St on his board is refusing to pay the "overly excessive" infringement.

Sascha Krueger, 33, says the police officer who dished out the ticket had not done his homework properly, and it was only illegal to skate on the street's footpath – not the road.

"I think he abused his power and tried to teach me a lesson."

Under the Nelson City Council's parking and vehicle control bylaw, skaters are not allowed to skate on footpaths in a prohibited area, which covers most central Nelson streets.

Mr Krueger, who skateboards to work six days a week "rain or shine", is the sixth skateboarder to be handed an infringement notice since 2005.

"It's the most reliable and cheap transport and I would consider myself an experienced driver."

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Mr Krueger was taking his daughter to see his partner at Zippy's Cafe on Hardy St on Tuesday when he was warned by a police officer that he was entering the no-skate zone.

Mr Krueger hopped off his board and after dropping off his daughter got back on his wheels to skate down New St. He saw the same officer who waved him down to issue the ticket.

"I said that he was in the wrong and I was allowed on the road – I was not on the footpath.

"The fine is way more than what I earn in a week."

Mr Krueger said while the officer checked out the rules inside his car for 25 minutes he was left standing outside – making him late for work.

Mr Krueger said he was not happy with the way he was treated, and as well as planning to apply to have the fine withdrawn, would also lay a compliant with the Police Complaints Authority.

In the past there has been confusion over the legality of the fine, but police say under the 1962 Transport Act it is legal.

In 2008 Nelson Bays area commander Inspector Brian McGurk said he would look into getting the fine reduced. Today he told The Nelson Mail no changes had been made. Changes needed to be made through a bylaw.

"This is the first time I have heard of it being an issue since the last time we talked about it two or three years ago."

Mr McGurk said Mr Krueger had been given a warning a short time before he was issued the infringement notice. He was not sure of the exact details and whether Mr Krueger was on the road or footpath.

A skateboard was classified as a vehicle, and skateboarders in central Nelson posed risks including frightening and intimidating the elderly.

The Nelson Mail