Folks, this story is real. Only the tissues have been changed to protect the innocent.
From the land that used to be Great Britain:
Driver faces trial for blowing his nose behind the wheel … after being pulled over by ‘Pc Shiny Buttons’
By Gavin Madeley
Last updated at 4:47 PM on 28th January 2010
When motorist Michael Mancini found himself stuck in a queue of traffic with a runny nose, he instinctively reached for his hankie.
However, the simple act of pulling out a tissue and blowing his nose earned the astonished businessman a £60 on-the-spot fine after a police officer decided he was ‘not in control of his vehicle’.
Police constable Stuart Gray handed out the fixed penalty notice even though Mr Mancini was stopped in stationary traffic with his handbrake on.
Pc Gray, nicknamed ‘Pc Shiny Buttons’ for his zealous approach to the job, courted controversy last year when he issued a £50 fixed penalty for littering to a man who accidentally dropped a £10 note in the street.
Now, father-of-two Mr Mancini, 39, who has never been in trouble with police before, faces a potentially expensive legal battle to clear his name after vowing not to pay the fine.
Last night, he said: “I was in total shock. I was stuck in traffic with the handbrake on and my nose was running.
‘It’s beyond a disgrace. Surely it would have been more dangerous to drive with a blocked nose?’
Having declined to pay the fine, Mr Mancini, of Prestwick, Ayrshire, now faces a criminal trial later in the year.
The incident happened as self-employed furniture restorer was driving in nearby Ayr and started to suffer from a runny nose when he got stuck in the traffic jam.
He said: ‘I needed to blow my nose so I put my handbrake on and took the car out of gear.
‘I noticed four police officers standing around near the Wallace Tower but I didn’t think anything of it. Then one of them waved me over.
‘I still had the tissue in my hand and was totally stunned when he said I was getting a fixed penalty notice for not being in control of my car.’
But prosecutors are adamant they will put Mr Mancini through a trial at Ayr District Court.
He said: ‘I am really angry. I made sure it was safe to blow my nose. It’s doubtful I’ll get legal aid so this could potentially cost me thousands of pounds in legal fees.
‘But I won’t be paying the fixed penalty.’