Spy car leaves council red-faced

A council-owned spy car, used to fine thousands of unsuspecting drivers, has been caught repeatedly parking illegally.

The spy car has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, by using a CCTV camera mounted on its roof to catch drivers breaking the law.

But local residents have been shocked at the hypocrisy of the scheme after the council-owned car was repeatedly caught parking illegally on double yellow lines, in loading bays and outside a busy shopping centre.

Philip Barnes, 34, an Army sergeant from Wolstanton, said: "It's a bit of a contradiction if they're issuing traffic fines and then have been caught out themselves.

"They should be brought to task like anyone else. If the council's giving out these penalties, it should set a good example."

Ian Tamburello, the city council's strategic manager for enforcement, said: "Wherever possible, the enforcement vehicles park legally and only park in restricted areas in exceptional circumstances."

Since October 2010 the spy car, which cost the council £80,000, has caught more than 5,600 motorists, who have received £60 fines.

Motorists should always abide by the highway code for the safety of themselves and other road users, it is also important to ensure you have up to date car insurance and reliable breakdown cover.

Copyright © Press Association 2012.

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