Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 23 November 2014

£70 fine for seven-second parking

A charity worker received a 70 pound fine after parking her car outside a school for seven seconds
A charity worker received a 70 pound fine after parking her car outside a school for seven seconds

A charity worker has been fined £70 by a council after parking for seven seconds on zig-zag lines outside a school.

Joyce Sale was dropping off charity concert leaflets at the primary school when she was captured by a parking camera car operated by Birmingham City Council.

She then received a council letter in the post with details of the penalty notice, working out at £10 for every second her car was stopped.

The 71-year-old has had an appeal against the fine turned down, with the council saying enforcing "important road safety measures" around schools was "paramount".

Bosses at the Birmingham St George's Day Association, the charity Ms Sale was delivering the literature for, said they would pay the fine for former care worker Ms Sale, of South Yardley, but were stunned the council had not decided to wave it given the circumstances.

She described the fine as "ludicrous", adding she had only stopped to see how she could get onto the school site after spotting the gates were barred.

"It was my first time going to the school and it was absolutely pouring with rain," she said.

"So when I got there, I could see the gates were shut, and there was just nowhere to park.

"So I pulled up, and then I heard this tapping on my window and there was a man there and he pointed across the street to this camera car."

The mobile CCTV car recorded Ms Sale, who also volunteers for Troop Aid and works with Alzheimer's sufferers, stationary for a few seconds on the ziz-zag lines outside St Benedict's Infant School, in Small Heath.

However, the zig-zags - complete with "keep clear" road markings - prohibit stopping at any time, and the short time was enough to earn Ms Sale her fine on February 12, earlier this year.

David Ward, chairman of the St George's Day Association, said: "We will stand the cost of the ticket.

"We just can't believe it really.

"We thought that once we explained to the council what Joyce was doing, they would drop it (the fine) given the circumstances."

The charity, which works to encourage the marking of St George's Day in similar style to how the city's huge St Patrick's Day celebrations unfold, runs a concert each year hosted at Birmingham's Symphony Hall, including an X-Factor style competition for pupils for up to 25 schools.

It was leaflets for this event, which will feature in the charity's concert in April next year, Ms Sale was delivering when she was caught on camera.

A Birmingham City Council spokesperson said: "We put an appropriate level of parking enforcement into any location, to ensure that we are complying with our traffic regulation and safety responsibilities.

"Drivers have the right to appeal against any notice they feel is issued unfairly and, in this case, that process has been followed and the notice has been upheld.

"We would also point out that the safety and wellbeing of those travelling to and from schools is paramount and that parking restrictions, including zig-zag lines, are important safety measures."

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