A HEAVILY-pregnant woman was hit with a fine when she parked on yellow lines because she thought she was about to give birth.
Wigan mum-to-be Stefnie Bunney today spoke of her distress and feeling of injustice after her bid to seek emergency aid at the roadside ended with a penalty notice.
The Highfield 26-year-old, whose labour pains later subsided, has now lost her appeal against the fine on the grounds of insufficient evidence.
She fell foul of a traffic warden while driving through Pemberton. Suddenly seized by abdominal pains and with a child due any day, she thought she was about to go into labour.
So she pulled over at the side of the road and into the nearby Lloyds TSB bank.
She said: “I can’t believe the Council is ignoring the circumstances. I was on my own, it was my first child and I started getting excruciating pains. I had no idea what was happening and I was terrified.
“I pulled in to the first side road and just parked on single yellow lines. At the time I didn’t think about anything else I just wanted help – I was panicking.
“Straight away I rushed into the bank to ask for help and after a few minutes the pain began to ease off and I just wanted to be at home because I was so shaken up.
“When I returned to the car, the warden handed me the parking ticket and I just sat down and cried. I was really overwhelmed at what had just happened.”
Stefnie, of Ribbersford Road, immediately returned home and with help from her grandad, James Fishwick, she drafted a letter to appeal the fine and explain her circumstances.
But it was rejected and she now faces a fine of up to £70 if unpaid within the next 10 days.
She said: “I really don’t mind paying for the ticket. At the end of the day I was parked in the wrong place and that’s fair enough.
“I’m just angry that they can’t sympathise with me under the circumstances. It could have literally happened to anybody. I would hate to see anybody else go through that.”
Newborn, Dayne, was born just two weeks after the incident occurred.
Council officials have refused to dismiss the fine and say that there is no proof of the claim.
Mark Tilley, head of infrastructure at Wigan Council, said: “The parking warden handed the fixed penalty notice to the lady in person.
“At the time she did not dispute the ticket, nor did she point out the medical difficulties she was having which forced her to park her car illegally.
“At this stage in the appeal process, no evidence has been provided to support her claims. However, she does have the right to appeal the decision.”