A tired motorist who pulled into a service station after almost falling asleep at the wheel was fined – for snoozing past the two hour limit.
Car sales manager Paul Kightly, 29, thought he was doing the responsible thing when he pulled off the M3 at Fleet, Hants.
He bought himself a cup of coffee before getting his head down for a couple of hours’ kip.
But a few days later his employers were hit with a £100 fine because his company car had been clocked breaking the two hour limit in the car park.
Paul said: “I thought I was doing the sensible thing.
“Just before I left the motorway I almost had an accident and if it hadn’t been for a lorry sounding it’s horn it could have been serious.
“I went for a cup of coffee, got back into the car and fell asleep. I must have been more tired than I thought because I slept for about two hours.
“I didn’t think any more about it until my employers got the letter about my company car.
“The letter said there were warning notices about the time limit but I didn’t see them anywhere. It seems like a crazy and dangerous rule to me.”
Paul, from Chippenham, Wilts., appealed to Parking Eye, the private company enforcing the notice, but they rejected it.
He has also contacted the Welcome Break station and appealed for their help but they said they could not help.
Paul is now making one final attempt to overturn the fine with the Parking on Private Land Appeal.
Parking Eye said that their signs were clearly placed and warned drivers that if they were going to be in the car park for more than two hours they need to buy a ticket.
An AA spokesman added: “We don’t really have a problem with this rule. Two hours is long enough – even if you need to go to the cafe first.
“If you need to sleep for more than an hour or so think about stopping somewhere else.”