David Osborne, a 68-year-old builder and decorator from Bristol, had driven his partner into the city on Valentine's Day for a romantic drink. He pulled over outside the bar he was planning to visit, and hopped out to read a sign showing the parking restrictions. As soon as he realised that it was a clearway for another hour and a half, he got back in and drove off. In all he says he must have been there for about 90 seconds - but it was long enough to earn him a parking ticket.
And he's far from the first victim of over-zealous parking enforcement.
> Osborne told the Western Daily Press that he hadn't been stopped by a warden on the day, so the first he knew about the ticket was when he received a letter in the post, ordering him to pay a fine of £70. The letter included a CCTV photo of him to prove his mistake. He can be clearly seen beside the car checking the parking restrictions.
The Daily Mail reported that a Bristol Council spokesperson confirmed they had reconsidered the case and would be withdrawing the fine. She added: "He was clearly reading the restriction signs and not parking. We would like to remind drivers who think they have received a parking fine incorrectly to use the appeals procedure that is set out on the ticket."
Weird ticketsIn February we reported on the Bradford motorist who received a parking ticket after a mobile traffic camera photographed him stopped at a bus stop. The only problem was that he hadn't parked there: he was stuck in traffic. The council apologised for not having checked the photograph more carefully and cancelled the fine.
A year earlier it had been the turn of Lesley Mair, a 43-year-old from Musselburgh, who was driving along Portobello High Street when she saw a woman collapse face-down on the pavement. She hurriedly pulled into a disabled bay and rushed to her aid. While she was helping, a traffic warden gave her a ticket.
And a year before that a warden in Wandsworth showed even less sympathy, when he issued a ticket to a man who had stopped at the side of the road to help a motorcyclist who had been knocked off his bike. The driver could clearly be seen helping the unconscious man a few feet away.
There are some weird cases too. In 2003, Lambeth Council gave two divers £300 worth of tickets, as they tried in vain to rescue a whale that had swum into the Thames. They paid at meters on Vauxhall Bridge and left a note saying they were part of the crew trying to help the whale. However, wardens ignored the note and slapped the cars with tickets.
Even more oddly, in 2012 a warden in Appledore in Devon ticketed a lifeboat which had been briefly left on a trailer outside the lifeboat station.
But perhaps the oddest ticket of all was in 2003, when a hearse pulled up outside a funeral director's in Leith, ready to be loaded with a coffin. When the driver went inside for the body, an eagle-eyed warden slapped the car with a ticket.