A MOTORIST was left stunned when her van was fined while being carried on the back of a breakdown truck.
Eve Scraggs, from Bristol, discovered that a tech error led to her being slapped with a £120 penalty charge.
Eve was already exasperated enough by her bright yellow van breaking down but was blindsided when she received a letter saying she had breached the city's Clean Air Zone (CAZ).
The zone covers Bristol city centre and works similarly to London's ULEZ, with vehicles that don't meet certain emissions standards charged a daily rate to enter.
Non-payment results in a £120 fine, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
But Eve, who knew for a fact that she had not been in the city centre that day, was puzzled as to why she was being pursued and requested evidence of the alleged offence.
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When the photograph arrived, she was shocked by the ridiculousness of the error.
It transpired that the recovery truck that was carrying the broken-down van had passed through the zone.
While the truck driver had paid the charge for his own vehicle, the number plate recognition cameras which enforce the CAZ wrongly picked up Eve's van as also on the road.
Eve told the Bristol Post: "Apparently this is quite common – if your vehicle is being transported on the back of an AA truck like mine is here, the council system can’t tell any different, and they evidently don’t have any human sense checks in place before they send [fines] out.
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"The result is anyone having their vehicle transported by a recovery truck is likely to get issued with a fine and threats if they don’t pay up.
"I have now appealed the fine, but have been away so nearly didn’t spot the letter in time to do so, there’s a limited period in which you’re allowed to appeal.
"I’d guess a lot of others have found themselves in a similar situation or landed with fines through no fault of their own too."
The enforcement of CAZs across the country has come under scrutiny amid similar mishaps.
Last July, one couple were fined £180 for allegedly driving through Birmingham's zone, despite having never been to the city and living 160 miles away.
And just a couple of months earlier, the same zone resulted in a pensioner receiving a £120 fine despite his claims he was 145 miles away in Hampshire at the time.
Indeed, it emerged this year that more than 48,000 CAZ fines had been scrapped after being challenged.
Bristol City Council has been contacted for comment.
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It comes after drivers were warned over a little-known parking rule that could see them forced to pay huge penalties.
Meanwhile, residents of a leafy estate claimed it was being ruined by a row over speed bumps on a shared driveway, which is not set to end up in court.
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