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Driver hit with fine for taking a nap

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A tired driver who stopped in a service area in the early hours of the morning to get some rest has been handed a £50 parking fine.

Motoring and safety organisations, as well as a former transport minister have condemned the penalty.

The driver James Orr had been driving his van for several hours throughout the night from London to Cornwall when he decided to take a break at an Exeter service area.

“I was exhausted and I didn’t want to risk falling asleep at the wheel,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been safe for me to continue.”

Mr Orr received a Parking Charge Notice – a private parking fine – issued by a contractor on behalf of Moto, which photographed Mr Orr’s van arriving and leaving the service area.

The penalty, which has since been rescinded, showed he spent three hours and three minutes at the service station, just over an hour over the two-hour free parking limit.

Road safety experts and motoring organisations agree that the two hour limit should not be enforced at night.

“Fatigue is one of the biggest contributors to death and injuries on our roads,” said Jim Fitzpatrick, a transport minister in the last Labour Government and currently the party’s road safety spokesman.

“I think it is entirely inappropriate that somebody who has behaved responsibly should be penalised for taking his own and other people’s safety into account. It is utterly outrageous.”

By Ben Malkin

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