Driver fined £195 after pulling into bus lane to let police van past

Driver fined £195 after pulling into bus lane to let police van past thumbnail

A motorist was fined nearly £200 for pulling into a bus lane to let a police van pass.

Stephen James, 37, was driving along Forest Road in Walthamstow, east London, when the patrol vehicle weaved in and out of traffic to get by him and other cars on September 13 last year.

CCTV stills show the van unable to get past him while a driver in the oncoming slows to make a turn.

To give the police van space to overtake, Stephen pulled into the bus lane. He was shocked when he later received a fine from the council charging him £195.

Stephen missed the first letter sent to him, so only found out about the fine when he got another.

He said: ‘When I got the second one I looked at the evidence and thought its rubbish that I’ve not seen the first one but should be OK to appeal this one looking at the evidence.’

Speaking of the moment he pulled in the bus lane, he said: ‘You see [the police van] coming up and you know you need to do something to help in that situation.

‘They weren’t going to be able to speed past so some action was needed.’

He added: ‘I done it trying to the right thing, and I’ve been penalised for that.’

Stephen said he was surprised his appeal failed as he had read about a similar case in which the council insisted that drivers would not be fined if they moved out of the way of an emergency vehicle flashing lights or using its siren.

But a Waltham Forest Council spokesperson said: ‘The rules in London are very clear about entering bus lanes, and it is the responsibility of drivers to know and follow them.

‘The driver can be seen moving into the bus lane to let the emergency vehicle pass, before proceeding to drive the length of the bus lane, despite having the opportunity to re-enter the carriageway.’

The council explained that drivers will not be fined if they move aside for an emergency services vehicle that is responding to a call and displaying emergency lights and sirens.

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