Camera car attacked

THE driver of a controversial camera car was “fortunate” not to be hurt when his vehicle was attacked by a yob.

The hi-tech car was heading along Owton Manor Lane, in Hartlepool, when an object was hurled at its windscreen, cracking the glass.

Hartlepool Borough Council bosses say the driver was lucky not to be injured, and that the incident was immediately reported to police.

Superintendent Glenn Gudgeon, District Commander for Hartlepool, said such behaviour will not be tolerated and appealed for help in catching the person responsible.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Fortunately the driver was not injured. However, the car’s windscreen was cracked and had to be replaced.

“Naturally we take any such incident very seriously indeed and we have reported it to the police and will pass onto them any relevant footage from the camera car.”

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He added that the object that hit the car at 4.50pm on Thursday has not been found and that the car is expected to be back on the road today.

Supt Gudgeon said: “We will not tolerate these actions.

“We would ask anyone with information about this incident to contact the police.”

The car, which cost the local authority £40,000, was launched in May last year in an attempt to improve road safety.

The launch of the car sparked a flood of complaints from drivers who were shocked to receive £70 fines on their doormats after their cars were flashed by the camera in and around Hartlepool.

While many of the fines were issued for offences including parking on zig-zag lines near schools or blocking pavements, many drivers were left fuming after being snapped after pulling into bus stops to drop off passengers.

Even though some drivers claimed they had only been parked in the bus stop for a matter of seconds, council chiefs insisted that did not matter as there were “no grey areas”.

The car hit the headlines last week when it was snapped parked in a bus stop.

Council bosses maintain the driver had pulled over into the bus stop to investigate an earlier accident, pointing out he was “permitted to do so under the law”.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact Hartlepool Police on (01642) 326326 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.