Morning sickness nets driver $366 fine

March 19, 2012 at 2:14 AM
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HAWTHORN, Australia, March 19 (UPI) -- An Australian driver says she was "shocked" to be fined $366 for her unfortunate choice of streets to pull over when she felt the need to vomit.

The 36-year-old Highgate woman, who only gave her name as Natalie, told Adelaide Now she was pregnant when she became nauseous while driving last November and turned onto a side street in Hawthorn where she could pull over and grab a paper bag in which to throw up. The urge to regurgitate passed, but a police officer confronted her and said he had to write her a ticket.

It seems the street she had turned on is closed during afternoon rush hour to discourage motorists from using it as a shortcut -- what they call a "rat run" Down Under.

"I was shocked that I didn't just get a warning based on common sense and compassion for my situation," she said.

Natalie is challenging the stiff fine but so far hasn't gotten any satisfaction from the powers that be, the newspaper reported Monday. A letter she wrote to the police explaining what happened brought a reply from an official who said he appreciated the circumstances but the fine "will stand."

Member of Parliament David Pisoni has stepped up to the plate on her behalf.

"There's no doubt this government has become addicted to revenue-raising through traffic fines, which has put police under pressure to err on the side of revenue-raising rather than using their discretion to give a warning," he said.

Her case will now be reviewed to determine whether the matter goes to court or whether the fine be withdrawn.

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