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Last Updated: Monday, 2 January 2006, 16:17 GMT
Lost driver fined for M-way stop
Rachael Farthing
Rachael Farthing said she was confused by motorway signs
Police have defended giving a 30 fine to a woman who stopped to ask for directions on a Warwickshire motorway.

Rachael Farthing, 44, was uncertain which exit to take from the M6 near Birmingham and pulled up behind a police car on the hard shoulder.

Miss Farthing, from Oadby in Leicestershire, said police had overreacted to "a damsel in distress".

But the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) said the hard shoulder was only to be used in emergencies.

'Enforce legislation'

Miss Farthing, who was travelling on her own ahead of a works party before Christmas, told the BBC: "I thought it was very unreasonable - I was very angry. When I did arrive at my destination, my colleagues were all astonished at what had happened."

The CMPG said it was unable to comment on the case of Miss Farthing, who was stopped where the M6 and M6 Toll diverge at Coleshill.

But a spokesman said: "Motorists are encouraged to ensure that they make good preparation before commencing journeys, ensuring for their safety sufficient provision for emergencies and being aware of their route.

"The officers of the Central Motorway Police Group are directed to ensure that the safety of the travelling public is maintained.

"They have discretion to enforce legislation as appropriate."

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