Chris Allen, 29, has been slapped with a £100 fine for sleeping at a motorway services in the middle of the night
A driver has been slapped with a fine for sleeping at a motorway services in the middle of the night – because he felt too sleepy to be behind the wheel.
Chris Allen stopped for a coffee and a rest on his five hour drive to see his mum Angela, 62, who had been rushed to hospital.
The 29-year-old said he followed road safety advice but ended up dozing for too long.
He slept from 1.30am to 8am – six-and-a-half hours – over the two hour parking limit.
Chris – who was travelling from Devon to Grantham, Lincs – said he didn’t realise he needed to pay and drove off from Leicester Forest East services.
But he then got a fine for £100 three months later and refused to pay it.
‘I didn’t pay it out of principle,’ delivery driver Chris blasted.
He was then summoned to Lincoln County Court by car park management company ParkingEye on May 17, and a judge doubled his fine.
‘I don’t think I should pay a £200 fine for doing what any responsible driver should do, which is stop when they’re tired,’ Chris raged.
He stopped at Leicester Forest East services during a journey from Devon to Grantham, Lincs to visit his mother Angela who had been rushed to hospital
‘That’s what is recommended on the motorway with all these signs, but it’s a load of rubbish.
‘They’re more interested in getting money out of you,’ he said.
‘The whole attitude is appalling.
‘I said I could have carried on, but then you don’t know what’s going to happen.
‘In future I will strongly advise people not to take a break when tired.’
Chris says he now will have to pay the increased fine for the expensive sleep which happened in April last year.
Car park management company ParkingEye recorded Mr Allen’s stay as being six-and-a-half hours – more than four hours over the free parking time period
Road safety charity Brake said that ‘driving tired can have devastating consequences.’
A spokesman said: ‘We advise all drivers to take a break of at least 15 minutes every two hours.
‘If you feel tired, you should pull over somewhere safe and have a nap.
‘However, there is no substitute for a good night’s sleep – this is the only way to be sure of staying safe.’
Simon Williams, from the RAC, commented: ‘While we naturally sympathise with Mr Allen’s nasty surprise, the practice of charging for long-stay parking at motorway services has been in force for some time in order to prevent people taking advantage of the otherwise free parking.
‘That said, Mr Allen, who is no doubt still smarting from the experience, definitely did the right thing by resting instead of continuing to drive while tired and therefore risking being involved in a collision.’
A ParkingEye spokesman said: ‘In this case the motorist refused both the offer to settle the matter without going to court and the option to appeal the charge using our internal BPA audit appeals service or the independent body of POPLA.
‘Indeed, the motorist did not respond to any of our letters prior to legal proceedings and it was only at the court hearing that he first brought his circumstances to our attention.
‘All motorists at this car park are able to park for free for up to two hours and we offer long-term parking for motorists who wish to stay longer, but this does need to be paid for.
‘In this case, the motorist stayed in the car park for over six hours without paying for parking.
‘We would also highlight that parking can be paid for retrospectively at any time prior to exiting the car park via a number of different payment methods.’