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1/2/2006
UK: Woman Fined $50 for Asking Directions
A lost mother is fined $50 for asking directions of a policeman alone on a dark UK freeway.

M6 Sign
Rachael Farthing, 44, became lost on the M6 freeway one evening while headed toward Birmingham, UK. A baffling road sign offered her little help in determining which path to take upon reaching the junction with the M6 Toll and M42. Not wanting to look at a map while behind the wheel, she pulled over when she noticed a police Land Rover on the side of the road. She thought he would be able to provide friendly advice. Instead of assisting the troubled motorist, however, the police officer directed Farthing to hand over her identification and license and wait in the car. After a few minutes, the officer returned with a £30 ticket (US $50) before offering any directions.

"I was on my own, it was dark and I was a real damsel in distress," Farthing told the Daily Mirror newspaper. "I'm furious and feel this policeman acted completely unreasonably. Whatever happened to the helpful British bobby?"

A police spokesman blamed the incident on Farthing. "If this lady had read the highway code she would know it is an offence to stop there under the Motorway Regulations Act," said Central Motorway Police Sergeant Andrew Moss.

Article Excerpt:
Rachael said: "I almost ended up on the toll road by mistake. I managed to get on the right bit of the M6 but then did not know which junction I should come off for the centre of Birmingham. By this point I was getting quite anxious. It was dark and I wasn't sure if I was going the right way. So when I saw a police car on the hard shoulder just after junction four I thought it would be sensible to pull over and ask for directions rather than risk an accident by looking at my map."
Source: FINED FOR ASKING A COPPER TO HELP (Daily Mirror (UK), 1/2/2006)

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