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Driver escapes parking fine for answering call of nature
post Mon, 5 Feb 2018 - 17:49
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A motorist in his eighties had a parking penalty ripped up after arguing that he had the right to park illegally to answer the call of nature.

Michael Nyman saw his £130 fine for parking on a pavement quashed when an appeals body ruled that he could have been involved in a crash “if he had not stopped to relieve himself”.

Mr Nyman was driving through central London on November 15 last year when he became heavily delayed in traffic. He said he desperately needed the toilet but could not find a proper place to pull off the road.

The 85-year-old mounted the pavement on Park Road, just west of Regent’s Park, and stopped outside a florist, where he rushed inside to use the loo. He insisted that he was parked for no more than three minutes and did not cause an obstruction.

However, he received a penalty notice from Transport for London a week later for the offence of being “parked with one or more wheels on or over a footpath”. It carries a £130 penalty, which can be reduced to £65 if paid within a fortnight. Mr Nyman, from Hindhead, Surrey, said he immediately contacted TfL to offer an explanation but it was rejected.

Last week, an official traffic adjudicator cancelled the penalty after ruling that needing to go to the loo can also constitute an emergency, particularly for older motorists.

Here's the decision:

Case Details
Case reference 2180004050
Appellant Michael Leslie Nyman
Authority Transport for London
PCN Details
PCN GT69942356
Contravention date 15 Nov 2017
Contravention time 16:45:00
Contravention location O/S 57-63 Park Road NW1
Penalty amount GBP 130.00
Contravention Footway parking
Decision date 01 Feb 2018
Adjudicator John Lane
Appeal decision Appeal allowed
Direction cancel the Penalty Charge Notice and the Notice to Owner.
The appellant attended.
The issue of this appeal is whether the vehicle was parked with one or more wheels on any part of a road other than a carriageway and whether the circumstances amount to an exemption as expressed in Section 15(3) of the Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 (as amended).
The exemptions are: A person shall not be convicted of an offence under this section with respect to a vehicle if he proves to the satisfaction of the court that the vehicle was parked –
i) in accordance with permission given by a constable in uniform; or
ii) for the purpose of saving life or extinguishing a fire or meeting any other emergency; or

iii) for the purpose of rendering assistance at the scene of an accident or a bona fide breakdown involving one of more vehicles, and –
such assistance could not have been safely or satisfactorily rendered if the vehicle had not been so parked; and
the vehicle was not left unattended at any time while it was so parked; or
for the purpose of loading or unloading goods {for a period not exceeding 20 minutes or such longer period as the council may permit}, and –
the loading or unloading of the vehicle could not have been satisfactorily performed if it had not been so parked; and
the vehicle was not left unattended at any time while it was so parked.
A carriageway is a way for vehicles only. It follows then for a contravention to occur one or more of the vehicle’s wheels must be on a road, which is not the carriageway.
A road is defined by section 142 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as any length of highway, or of any other road to which the public has access. That is the general public. This can include a private road or even private land.
A road is generally all land from the building line on one side to the building line to the other. It typically has a carriageway in the middle with footways on either side. A footway may include ‘crossovers’ which give access from the carriageway to adjoining premises. They may all be part of the road, as may be grass verges, flower beds or paved areas.
The Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 states that a parking place is a place where vehicles of any class may wait. Parking is thus waiting. Waiting is stopping, which is more than merely nominal.
I have examined carefully the evidence from both parties but the evidence provided by the council persuades me that the contravention occurred.
The Greater London Council (General Powers) Act 1974 (as amended), section 15, creates the contravention that, "Any person who causes or permits any vehicle to be parked in Greater London with one or more wheels on any part of a road other than a carriageway shall be guilty…." There is no requirement to provide signage to indicate that footway parking is prohibited, only to provide signage indicating where it is permitted.
The contravention was created by an Act of Parliament and cannot therefore be invalid.
Legally I am satisfied that the vehicle parked on the road or highway with at least one wheel off the carriageway.
Mr Nyman is 85.
He had driven from Hindhead in Surrey and had become delayed in traffic. He has provided evidence from his doctor and has also provided chis own personal evidence, which I accept. He stopped there in what was for him an emergency situation. He needed the lavatory. He said there could have been a motor accident if he had not stopped to relieve himself. I accept that.
Unlike Transport for London I had the opportunity of meeting Mr Nyman and asked him his age.
I find that this for him was an emergency and can also be deemed objectively to be an emergency situation..
An emergency is defined as a sudden unforeseen occurrence needing immediate action.
I will therefore allow the appeal.

This post has been edited by stamfordman: Mon, 5 Feb 2018 - 18:07
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