A motorist got an £80 parking fine when she paused on an empty roundabout to read a road sign – for just NINE seconds.
Saleswoman Katy Lee, 37, got lost trying to find a car park at Luton Airport for a meeting in January.
Bright low-level sunshine was making it difficult to see the signs and she briefly stopped to check one before parking in the short-term car park.
She was stunned a few days later when a parking fine arrived at her home in Horsham, West Sussex.
Katy challenged the demand but was furious when she was told her appeal had been rejected – and she would have to pay the full £80.
She said: “I was entering the airport and I couldn’t work out what entrance to go in to in the bright sunlight.
“I paused, for about nine seconds apparently, and then went into the short term car park immediately.
“If I parked illegally I would pay the fine, there’s no doubt about it, there’s no hesitation, I would have absolutely paid it.
“But I can’t even tell you how angry and generally upset I am about everything.”
Parking operators APCOA have now backtracked since Katy went to the press with her story and cancelled the fine.
A spokesman said: “Upon reviewing the CCTV Ms Lee’s PCN was rescinded on the grounds that she was not deliberately trying to evade the parking charge, more so trying to gather her bearings which is completely understandable.
“Drivers should only expect to be penalised if they are seen to use the restricted ‘no stopping at all times’ zones as pick-up or drop-off points.
“Ms Lee was clearly not in breach of these terms which is why we are pleased to cancel the PCN.
“My colleague has since spoken to Ms Lee to apologise for the oversight and the cancellation of the PCN, which Ms Lee is very happy with.
“We have also reassured Ms Lee that our processes don’t penalise those that stop to find directions.”