10/21/2005UK, Australia Give Parking Tickets to the Dead, Grieving
Meter maids in UK and Australia have begun a zero tolerance policy for illegal parking by the deceased.
A Melbourne, Australia coroner is investigating whether a 71-year-old man was dying or already dead when a meter maid issued him a parking ticket. In Greater Manchester, UK there is no doubt the meter maid knew he had slapped a £60 citation on a funeral limousine that had stopped for a few minutes to transport mourners to the funeral of John Hare, 80.
The Australian man's body was discovered Thursday in a shopping mall parking lot in Croydon with a parking ticket on the windshield -- issued at 10:30am on Tuesday, two days before police discovered the body. The deceased had disappeared more than a week earlier and was known to be seriously ill.
"I just find it totally disgusting and I think the council needs to be made accountable," a friend of the deceased ticket recipient told a Melbourne radio station 3AW. The east Melbourne suburb of Croydon issues A$225,000 in parking tickets each year.
In the UK, the ticketed funeral limousine was parked on double-yellow lines outside the Booth and Wolstenholme funeral home. The funeral director, shocked, was able to remove the ticket moments before the family noticed the citation.
"In 15 years of us being here, nothing like this has ever happened before," a spokesman for the funeral home told BBC News. "Funeral cars are usually exempt for parking restrictions to allow people to drop people off and pick them up."
The meter maid claimed he couldn't tell whether the vehicle was being used as part of a funeral service, despite the nearby hearse.