Canadian Man Faces Fines For Patching Up Potholes

| by Allison Geller

“Pothole vigilante” Mike Defazio of New Brunswick, Canada, may have to pay fines to the city for patching up the potholes that his city couldn’t be bothered to fix.

Defazio, who owns Defazio Autobody in Saint John, said he was sick of the damage that the potholes caused his car. One day one even popped his tire.

"Some of them were eight or 10 inches wide and two feet long and almost a foot deep," he told CBC News.

"I just got fed up because they had been here for quite some time and nobody looked like they were doing anything."

Defazio took matters into his own hands and fixed the potholes himself last Saturday. Locals, he said, were grateful.

"I’ve had numerous people saying, ‘What you did was a good thing.’ I've never had anybody saying it was a bad thing," he said.

On Wednesday, however, the city’s deputy commissioner of transportation and environment services, Kevin Rice, called Defazio to tell him he’d broken the law and could face a fine.

"I thought that I wasn’t really doing anything wrong, but he sure straightened me out on that matter," said Defazio.

Since private citizens are not allowed to do road work, Defazio’s pothole fixes were illegal, Rice said. He also claimed that people had complained about possible damage from the gravel.

"He said people were saying that a rock could be kicked up, or, you know, it could chip your windshield, it could scratch your paint, or whatever," said Defazio. "I said, 'Has it happened?' He says, 'Well, I don’t know if it’s happened, but it could happen.'"

Rice told Defazio that he would have to cover the cost of a city crew coming to remove the gravel.

Defazio asked if he could do it himself.

"He said, 'Fine. If you look after it, we'll come out tomorrow morning and we'll do an inspection and if it's up to our standards, then fine. If not, we're still gonna bring a crew in and you're gonna be charged,'" Defazio said.

Defazio paid a local contractor $450 to remove the gravel, pitching in to help with one of his employees.

Proof that no good deed goes unpunished.

Sources: CBC News