Monday, 24 September 2007

I've been a bad girl.

Saturday arrived with the inevitable wine+tequila+snakebite fuelled hangover and with it, even more unwelcome, came a letter from a certain London Borough Council. After a suitable amount of squinting, the words on the page made themselves known to my foggy brain.


Now in these situations, it's worth knowing that no matter what you've got a penalty charge notice for, it's never going to be your fault. If you've been done for parking on a double yellow line and been snapped, it's totally unfair because I've only just popped to the shop and you were only going to be two minutes and it's ridiculous to expect me to buy a parking ticket for an hour if I'm only going to be a second...Sound familiar? A little bit. Anyway, so I'm already denying any knowledge of wrong doing, and then I see what I've been fined for.


That's right, and they've even put it in capitals in case my vision's not up to scratch. FAILING TO COMPLY WITH A SIGN INDICATING A PROHIBITED TURN. I think back to the day in question...yes I went to the bank, parked for 10 minutes for the ridiculous tariff of 50p, nipped back to my car and drove home...taking a right down a road through the main street, past a sign that says 'Buses and Taxis Only'. What's the big deal? I've been scooting down that road for as long as I can remember living around here - sure it recommends that you don't use it, you know, just in case you get stuck behind a stationary bus or a taxi which makes you late and lengthens your journey (carbon emissions and the like, the council's very conscious). I never thought it was DO NOT go down this road OR ELSE, I thought they were just trying to make my journey easier by suggesting I went another way.


Evidently not. It seems they are serious about not wanting me to use that road and preempting my declaration of 'Err, it wasn't me', have supplied a rather well framed picture of me caught on CCTV whilst committing the atrocious act, which, I should note, killed and maimed thousands of unsuspecting shoppers, small babies and puppies as a result. Forgive me father, for I have sinned, I hath used the wrong road and must be punished for my wrongdoing to the sum of £120 (or £60 if I do it quickly and get it over with, how considerate). Of course I can appeal against the claim by ticking the relevant box on the flip side of the letter, yes, I was the owner of the vehicle, the vehicle was being used with my consent, I am not a hire firm. This leaves me with two, clearly mitigating reasons. I definitely have the law on my side...

There was no contravention of an order or failure to comply with an indication on a sign.

or

The penalty charge exceeded the amount applicable in the circumstances of the case - if you believe you are being asked to pay more than you should legally pay.

That's right: I shouldn't be charged ANYTHING because I've been down that road HUNDREDS of times and the person IN FRONT OF ME DID IT and my FRIEND DID IT THE WEEK BEFORE and IT WASN'T ME and I WAS ONLY GOING TO BE A MINUTE and NO ONE DIED, THE WORLD HAS NOT ENDED, no BUSES, TAXIS or TRAINS were injured as a result of my actions, do they want me to WATCH THE ROAD or WATCH SIGNS that are TOO HIGH UP and NOT CLEAR ENOUGH, what is this world coming to when CCTV CAMERAS follow your CAR'S EVERY MOVE but can't catch the person who MUGGED SOMEONE last week and what is this, A POLICE STATE? Above all, most importantly over anything else....IT'S NOT MY FAULT.

FACT

I reckon I've got a case.

9 comments:

London-Lass said...

Goodness .. seems a bit stiff that. And usually when I type the word stiff, it's usually meant in a good way, but in this context I dont. Have Councils got nothing better to do than to continually take our hard-earned money and yet give back nowt in return, preferring instead to reduce frequency of refuse collection, road sweeping, drain clearing, road repairing, the list is endless. Do you have a gun?

James said...

Tut tut tut, so we have a criminal within our ranks, eh?

So how come you didn't post the "rather well framed picture of [yourself] caught on CCTV". Don't give me all that privacy on the internet business, it's because it shows you putting on your make up while chucking a empty crisp packet out the window doesn't it. I know your sort!

Jo said...

funny you should say that londonlass, my boyfriend's just been on a stag weekend where he got to shoot all sorts of rifles and guns. I'll enquire as to whether he brought one back. Just to shoot the CCTV camera (and the sign), you understand...

and ACTUALLY James, the picture was from the back...so I could go along with this morning's radio 2 phone in and claim 'It wasn't me driving! honest guv!'...had it been from the front, they probably would have got me picking my nose. Mmmm. A fine just for that, me thinks.

AFC 30K said...

Oh dear, oh dear.

Being and Advanced Driver I will dutifully frown on such behaviour.

And let that be a lesson to you......

Would you like to borrow my copy of the highway code???

Steph said...

No judge in the land would convict you.........surely ;)

Miss Understood said...

What an absolute pain in the arse.

Stiletto said...

I really hope you submit that text to them. that would be funny!

maybe it'll even make them laugh some, I'm guessing they haven't done that in a few years =P

Jo said...

afc - Bah! The highway code's got nothing on me....facto...Council = wrong, me= right.

steph - That's the conclusion I've come to...I mean with excuses like that, who can argue?

Miss - my words EXACTLY, but louder.

Stiletto - Now that's a plan...I wonder if they'd let me off. They'd probably take 15 days to get back to me, by which time the fine would be £120...hmmmm...

Harriet said...

Bunch of facists... We are unfortunately living in a police state! I went to Fabric the other night for a friends leaving do and I was made to queue for 20 minutes to get a 6 minutes cigarette break. That doesn't sound so bad, but in case you were going to try and have a 6 minute and three second fag break they PROJECTED a giant clock on the wall to make sure you took the exact time allowed! You weren't even allowed to nip out the front, you HAD to use the space demarkated...

And then I caught sight of a girl wearing the black sparkly leggings you took a photo of in an earlier blog entry and I just couldn't stop laughing. WHAT is the world coming to?
xxx xxx

 

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