8/22/2006UK: Meter Maids Ticket Soldiers, Crash Victims, Not Selves
UK meter maid issues crash victims, soldiers serving in Iraq and others tickets while they exempt themselves from the same rules.
Meter maids in the UK have adopted a zero tolerance policy that applies to soldiers serving in Iraq, crash victims, and those over the limit by a second, but they do not apply the same standards to themselves.
One meter maid issued a £100 (US $189) ticket to a wrecked Volkswagen Golf that had been pulled to the side of the road in Barkingside, Essex. The driver, James Pennant, 23, was furious.
"It was obviously the scene of an accident," Pennant told the Mirror newspaper. "Someone could have been killed or badly injured -- but that didn't stop him writing out a ticket. I told the warden what he was doing was atrocious but he just told me to go away. He even said it was illegal for me to take pictures -- so I took more."
On the next day, the same meter maid issued a second £100 ticket to Pennant's car. Earlier this month, the Devon and Cornwall Speed Camera Partnership hunted down a Royal Marine in Iraq so they could deliver to him a £60 (US $113) speeding ticket while he was risking his life for his country overseas. The soldier's alleged crime was driving 40 MPH in a 30 zone in Plymouth, Devon.
"To send a ticket that far is bureaucracy gone mad," the anonymous soldier told the Mirror.
The same zero tolerance policy does not apply to meter maids in Scotland. Glaswegian motorist Gerry Coyle, 37, paid £135 (US $255) to retrieve his Vauxhall after it had been towed away by a meter maid. He was stunned last week to capture a group of five meter maids eating lunch with their vehicle illegally parked on a dangerous corner.
"I asked the wardens to give me a smile -- which they did," Coyle told the Daily Record newspaper as he documented the incident. "And one of them even gave me the thumbs-up. They asked me if I'd had a busy morning and I said I would have, had they not lifted my van. But this just goes to show that there's one rule for us and another one for them."
Officials apologized for the tickets issued to the Iraq soldier and crash victim, but Glasgow City Council refused to apologize to Coyle and criticized him as, "the member of the public (who) continued to harass staff while they were in the vehicle."