Remember the advert where one Smart car is parked with the rear wheels to the kerb? Well, doing exactly that landed one women with a £50 parking fine after a traffic warden insisted the car overlapped the bay markings.
Luckily for 44-year-old Vanessa Price, the fine awarded in the town of Stroud in Gloucestershire was overturned after she fiercely contested her case, claiming the parking maneuver was recommended by the Smart car’s manufacturer.
An adjudicator at a parking penalty tribunal ruled no traffic regulation order had been breached, adding that while drivers have to park within marked bays in pay-and-display and permit-controlled zones, it is not enforceable in limited waiting spaces where Mrs Price had left her car.
The business owner told the Daily Mail: “I have parked like this in Stroud, London and Bristol and never had any trouble before. If you go to the Smart website they show you pictures of their cars parked in this way.”
The legal battle between Mrs Price and the council lasted a year. A full refund was eventually issued. “It was a ridiculous process and there were no winners in the end,” she added.
The law stipulates that at least one wheel needs to be wholly outside the markings of a bay for a fine to be issued except in the cases where a long vehicle overhang is causing an obstruction or preventing another vehicle from parking in an adjacent bay.
The Smart car, which gets its name from the Swatch Mercedes ART cooperative venture, measures around 2.7 metres in length and was introduced in the UK in 2000. The latest model will go on sale in early 2015.