Man given £30 fixed penalty notice for leaving car running unattended
Imagine this…you wake up, its cold and frosty outside. You pop outside to start you car so its warm and defrosted when you eventually want to set off. You only leave it for 10 minutes…..then…..bang – you’ve got a ticket.
This is what happened to Ken Hardman recently. Ken, 45 from Chorley in Lancashire, left his car to defrost and warm up during a frosty morning and was stunned to receive a £30 fixed penalty notice under the Road Traffic Act offence of ‘quitting’. This is when a person who the vehicle is registered to leaves their car engine running whilst not sitting in it.
Ken was visited by police as part of Operation Cold Start which happened to be targeting residential areas of Leyland and Chorley in Lancashire. The operation was set up specifically to target car thieves who were stealing cars as they were being defrosted, unattended. Ken argued that his car was locked, even though the engine was running.
He said: “I heard a knock on the door at 8.20am and the officer asked me whether the car outside was mine and said that, if it was, I was committing a crime. I think it’s completely outrageous because the car has a function on the automatic key which means the windows and doors can be locked while the engine is running.”
“It’s not possible to defrost your car and sit inside it because it’s too cold and I think they don’t take that into consideration. This fine means that I’m paying stealth charges even though my car was secured and locked. There was no way of stealing it.
I pay council tax and a lot of it goes towards policing so it’s a complete and utter disgrace to have to pay for defrosting the car, which is a company car. I feel like I haven’t been dealing with the police force but with a police farce.”
So the moral of this story is….get up five minutes earlier, dress warm and sit in your car whilst it defrosts!