Driver fined £100 for parking for 26 seconds to sneeze
- Credit: Archant
A man has been slapped with a £100 parking fine after pulling over for just 26 seconds to have a sneezing fit.
Steven Savage, from Attleborough, stopped on James Watson Road near the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital on January 20.
The 37-year-old, who was picking up his girlfriend from work at the Bob Champion Research and Education building, was in the midst of a sneezing fit and as he felt unsafe to drive pulled over temporarily to recover.
Mr Savage, an engineer, completely forgot about it but was swiftly reminded just 10 days later when he received a letter demanding a hefty fine.
The letter from National Parking Enforcement Ltd, who manage the road, ordered Mr Savage to pay the £100 fee.
Mr Savage has labelled the fine ridiculous on the basis it was a matter of seconds and in the interest of safety.
He said: "When you're having a sneezing fit the wise thing to do is pull over and let it finish - you don't feel fully in control when you're sneezing and it is dangerous to drive. I then picked my girlfriend up and thought no more of it."
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Mr Savage has appealed the fine but has not had a response yet.
He added: "To be honest I'm a bit blasé about the fine. It is annoying and it does create a bit of stress but these companies don't scare me. I think it is a bit of a scandal that they try and do it in the first place."
"As the road is close to the hospital there could be patients visiting who are briefly dropped off to receive treatment and then suddenly slapped with a huge fine.
"That is really what shocked me the most and I think it is outrageous."
Mr Savage has a 14 day window to accept the fine and pay a reduced fee of £60 but said he is appealing out of principle.
He added: "I know lots of people who have been fined for waiting for a few seconds and it is just unfair. It is fair enough if it is the council, but companies shouldn't be allowed to get away with it."
A spokesperson for National Parking Enforcement Ltd said: "Our principal aim with James Watson Road (which is private land) is to ensure the free flow of traffic along the roadway to avoid congestion, and therefore any issues with the connecting NHS and University buildings. The issue of security is also of paramount importance. As with all the car parks we manage thought out the UK, the driver was presented with an entry sign and drove past five 'No Stopping on the Roadway' signs before deciding to park on double yellow lines directly in front of a pedestrian crossing. The driver in question was on site for over three minutes and stationery for 1 minute and 49 seconds, contrary to your headline stating 26 seconds."