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Driver 'gobsmacked' at R800 fine for blowing nose


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Driver 'gobsmacked' at R800 fine for blowing nose at wheel.
A motorist spoke of his disbelief today after he was fined by police, for blowing his nose while at a standstill in traffic.

Blow me: Police fined a man for blowing his nose at the wheel of a car, when he had the handbrake on, in a traffic jam (picture posed by model)

Father-of-two Michael Mancini said he put the handbrake on before wiping his nose but was asked to pull over by officers who were standing nearby.

He was told he was not in control of his vehicle and was handed a R800 fine and three points on his licence.

The 39-year-old, who runs a furniture restoration business in Ayr, said: "The traffic was nose to tail in the high street and the traffic stopped and I thought that was quite a good time. I stopped the van and put the handbrake on. I saw four police officers nearby.

"The traffic moved on and I was waved across by an officer.

"He said I was not in control of the vehicle."Mr Mancini went on: "I was absolutely stunned."I said to the officer 'You're joking, you're having a laugh'.

"I've never been in trouble with the police. I was just completely gobsmacked. I honestly thought someone was going to run out with a camera."

AA President Edmund King offers support for Mr Mancini, arguing that his actions were actually quite sensible: 'It is difficult to know the details of an individual case, but we have never ever heard of a driver being fined for blowing his nose at the wheel before.

'Indeed one could argue it is safer to blow your nose rather than suffer the consequences of not doing so.'

Mr Mancini, who lives in Prestwick, Ayrshire, was fined on October 26 in the High Street in Ayr but has not paid the penalty.

His solicitor, Peter Lockhart, said he had written to the procurator fiscal on January 18 but a letter arrived on January 19 stating that if the fine was not paid the case would go to court.

Mr Lockhart said: "In the letter I said 'It should have been obvious to the officers what was going on and it beggars belief a ticket was issued'."

"I also wrote 'We cannot see, given the circumstances of this case, that it is in the public interest'."

Mr Lockhart said he was waiting to hear if a court date has been set.

"We will be pleading on his (Mr Mancini's) behalf not guilty," he added.

Mr King believes the case is snot one that should be pursued: "A R800 fine and three penalty points is not a punishment to be sneezed at. If this really is a case of nose blowing at the wheel then the police should take this case, catch it, bin it, kill it.?

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