Diabetic woman hit with parking charge after suffering medical episode
PUBLISHED: 08:44 22 January 2018 | UPDATED: 15:08 22 January 2018
Copyright: Archant 2018
A Norwich woman who was hit with a parking charge while she recovered from a medical episode said she was “furious” the penalty would not be overturned.
Vesna Hausmeister, 59, had parked in the Cathedral Retail Park car park, in Norwich, while she did some shopping on December 11 last year.
The city centre car park serves shops including Toys R Us, TK Maxx, and Farm Foods.
But before returning to her car Mrs Hausmeister, who has had diabetes for more than 40 years, suffered a hypoglycemia, triggered by low blood sugar levels.
Symptoms can include clumsiness, trouble talking, confusion, or in more serious cases loss of consciousness, seizures, or death.
She said: “You can’t drive in that situation.
“I ate some sweets and waited for my blood sugar levels to return to normal.”
Official advice states after a hypoglycemia, drivers should not drive until 45 minutes after their blood sugar has risen to an acceptable level, as judgment can still be impaired during this time.
But the time it took for her to feel safe enough to drive again pushed her over the two hours free parking limit, and she was issued a £70 penalty charge, or £40 if paid within 14 days.
“I was there for two hours 45 minutes,” she said. “But I wanted to be sure I was safe to drive.”
Mrs Hausmeister, who lives in Greenways in Eaton, said she appealed what she felt was an unfair decision.
But was told by operators Euro Car Parks that because she had not informed them before the notice was issued, the charge would remain.
Now, she said she does not know what to do.
“I’m furious,” she said. “There’s no phone number on the board even if I was able to call them but in that situation I couldn’t anyway.”
Mrs Hausmeister said she was used to managing her diabetes and potentially could have driven again sooner, but that it was not worth risking until she was absolutely sure.
She said the DVLA knew about her condition, and it did not affect her being allowed to drive.
Euro Car Parks did not respond to a request for comment.