Harsh penalty for bus lane incident
I received, on October 20, a letter from the Parking Enforcement Processing Unit to say I had contravened bus lane traffic regulations on October 8 and I would be liable to a penalty of £90 - £45 if paid inside 14 days.
I am 73 years of age. I do not normally take my car into Belfast city centre. On the day in question I had been visiting my brother, who has been very seriously ill for weeks, in the cancer unit at the City Hospital, .
Driving into town from the hospital, I saw what looked like an accident ahead of me in the lane I was using. I did not know the best thing to do.
Trying to avoid being involved in that scene, I turned into the bus lane momentarily and exited it when safe to do so.
It appeared from the photographic evidence sent by the processing unit that, instead of an accident, another vehicle was carrying out a more dangerous move from the bus lane by broadsiding the traffic flow.
Having passed the scene safely - without hindrance to buses, by the way - I returned to the normal position on the road.
It has been pointed out to me that weekdays have different traffic regulations to weekends regarding times.
I can only say this would not have happened but for the circumstances mentioned above.
I sent the £45 cheque and appealed the penalty decision within the stipulated time. This was acknowledged, but the result of the appeal is still pending.
A BANKS (MRS)
Carrickfergus, Co Antrim