Police were slammed as ”insensitive” after issuing a £60 penalty to the driver of a HEARSE on its way to a funeral.
The hearse was carrying the coffin of elderly grandmother Jane Davis, who died in hospital on April 18, when Cambridgeshire police traffic officers pulled it over.
Pc Steve Gedney issued the ticket to the driver for not wearing a seatbelt after stopping the car in Great Wilbraham, Cambs.
The hearse was on its way to Holy Trinity Church in nearby Bottisham, where Mrs Davis’ family were waiting.
Mum-of-five Gail Hardy, 46, from Newmarket, Suffolk, witnessed the booking and said she was shocked officers interrupted the sombre trip.
She said: ”That was somebody’s mother and grandmother – it’s disgusting.
”It was on its way to a funeral so the family were probably waiting somewhere. I couldn’t believe it.
”The police could have taken down the hearse’s number and dealt with it later in the day.”
Mrs Hardy said the coffin was decorated with flowers spelling the word ”nan”.
The hearse had come from M J Silcox & Son Funeral Directors in Llanelli, South Wales, where Mrs Davis who was originally from Wilbraham, had died in hospital.
Pc Steve Gedney defended his actions in pulling over the hearse at around 3.25pm on Thursday.
He said: ”We noticed the driver and passenger of the hearse were not wearing seatbelts.
”We drove past them in a marked police car and the parked in the lay-by ahead, hoping they would realise and put their seatbelts on but they didn’t.
”After checking there were no family cars following, we pulled the driver over and realised they had driven from South Wales.
”We wouldn’t normally ignore road users not wearing seatbelts as we take road safety very seriously.”
The passenger had put a seatbelt on by the time the hearse pulled over and escaped being issued with a ticket.
Pc Gedney added: ”Drivers and passengers of hearses are just as likely to be involved in a collision as anyone else.
”Not only is it illegal not to wear a seatbelt, it is proved to reduce injuries in such as event.”
No one from the funeral directors was available for comment.