When Michael Wiles spotted an old barbecue grill thrown out with the trash on the side of the road he should have just ridden by – after all, he was riding a motorcycle and they are not really built with transporting BBQs in mind.
What he did was get creative. He figured out a way to fit the grill around his body so that he could still ride. He must have proved quite the sight, a motorist on the Eastern Freeway in Melbourne, Australia, snapped a shot of Wiles as he traveled surrounded in the outdoor cooking contraption at a speed that was estimated to be around 75km/h. It was a photo that would land the young man in some trouble. Police took a dim view of his actions and managed to track the then 27-year-old man down.
Although the incident occurred more than two years ago, his court case was just heard today and it didn’t exactly go in his favor. What is worse, after successfully transporting the grill to his home he discovered that it didn’t actually work.
Magistrate Lionel Winton-Smith exclaimed:
I have seen people with perhaps bits of wood sticking out of the car, but a barbecue? I’m trying to think of a word to describe it.
Paul McClure, lawyer for Wiles offered:
Ridiculous. That will do.
Wiles was issued with an $800 fine. Though it might be easy to dismiss the young man as another idiotic road user, his actions following the incident speak otherwise.
When barbecue company Barbecues Galore offered him a spot in their commercials, he declined, because he didn’t think it right to “glorify” his act of stupidity.
McClure explained why:
The ramifications for him have been far greater than the offense itself. He has been effectively used as an advertisement for what not to do on the roads, which he is wholly and completely in agreement with.
Winton-Smith seemingly appreciated the contrition expressed by the young motorcyclist, and the fact that he had made a “full and frank admission” to police, but had this to say:
You could have been charged with culpable driving and facing the County Court if someone had lost their life.
Wiles pleaded guilty to a count of careless driving. He was fined $800 and had his license suspended for one month.
Outside the court, he commented:
The main point is that I’m happy that there was some justice served, and this might encourage the right manner of responsibility of drivers in Australia.
With regard to the barbecue, he noted that he was “better off without one.” [The Age]