It’s a scenario that most drivers have faced while on the road: the loud blare and searing blue light of an emergency service vehicle closing in on your rear-view mirror and trying to carve a path through the traffic.
For most, the situation is resolved with nothing more than courteously pulling over to the left and allowing plenty of room for the approaching vehicle to pass. However, it was exactly this response that left one south London van driver facing a hefty penalty after he strayed into a bus lane.
Painter and decorator Daniel Wiggins faced a convoy of police motorcycles closing on his van on a London high street earlier this year, and with nowhere else to go, straddled the nearside bus lane to give them room to pass.
Unfortunately, this polite move proved an expensive one for the Surbiton native, as he was issued the significant fine, which he claims he never received any correspondence over.
The first Mr Wiggins knew that he was liable for straying into the restricted lane was when his van was later clamped for non payment, and he was forced to cough up £512 to avoid the disruption to his work that having it towed away would have meant.
Insult followed injury when he later received CCTV images relating to his contravention of the bus lane, which clearly showed the passing line of police bikers responding to an emergency call.
Mr Wiggins told The Sun: “What was I supposed to do? Not let the police through? It's all a complete joke.”
Kingston council originally told him it was too late to appeal against the fine, though quickly agreed to a full refund after the CCTV images were published in national media outlets.
An increasing number of motorists are being caught out by CCTV traffic enforcement, which is used by local authorities to monitor everything from illegal parking to yellow-box junctions, with £135million now being raised in fines annually.
Have you ever received a fine after being caught on traffic monitoring CCTV? Do you think it’s a fair way of enforcing traffic laws? Have your say below.