A driver who was fined for urinating in a layby has had the penalty cancelled after it was revealed that he has a prostate problem.
Michael Mason, 69, from Winslow in Buckinghamshire, was issued with a £88 fixed penalty notice (FPN) while parked in a layby on the A41, near Kings Langley, Hertfordshire.
Mr Mason said he had been approaching the M25 but pulled into the layby as he was desperate to urinate.
Specialist motoring lawyer Nick Freeman examined the legislation and told the Jonathan Vernon-Smith show on BBC Three Counties Radio the council were wrong to define urine as litter.
He said the legislation defines litter as items such as discarded cigarettes and chewing gum.
“The very fact it doesn’t mention urine clearly indicates that urine is not actually a piece of litter or in any way littering,” he said.
In response to Mr Freeman, the council said: “The definition or classification of urination as litter or urinating in public as a criminal offence under the 1986 Public Order Act is not for us, as an individual borough council, to comment on or define.”
The council initially said the fine was for littering and had invited Mr Mason to provide medical evidence to his condition. However, Dacorum Borough Council has now said that the FPN has been cancelled. “the 69-year-old “did not mention any medical conditions in his representation. We are pleased that in this case the FPN has rightly been cancelled,” it said.
Dr Nighat Arif, an NHS GP from Buckinghamshire, said for people with prostate conditions “wild wees are not that uncommon.”
“For men who have prostate issues – needing to rush to the toilet, urgency and needing to pee frequently are sometimes the early, easily missed symptoms,” she said.
Dr Arif stressed feelings of urgency could make it difficult to resist the need to use the toilet.
“The signals received from the bladder, due to the pressure of an enlarged prostate, in the brain makes it difficult for a person to resist or ignore the urgency to pass urine,” she explained.
Mr Mason said he was pleased the fine had been cancelled but he was “still wondering about all the other people who have been fined in the same area”.
“I don’t believe it’s the spirt of the law, in this case, to fine people for littering,” he added.