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French farmer's third fine for "illegally parking" tractor in Paris

By Johnny Summerton
Posted Aug 24, 2011 in Crime
Patrick Pilak has just received another fine for parking illegally in tenth arrondissement of the French capital.
And even though has a right to be annoyed and frustrated, he seems to be keeping a remarkably cool head.
Of course this is no ordinary case of "illegal parking".
You see Pilak isn't from Paris and the vehicle in question isn't exactly one that would go unnoticed if you saw it parked in the rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis, where the ticket was issued.
It's a tractor.
Pilak uses it for his job.
He's a farmer in the village of Gouzougnat in the d├ępartement of Creuse - almost 400 kilometres from Paris.
OK. OK. So it's a simple mistake - right?
Well, not so simple as it's not the first time he has received a fine for apparently parking his tractor in Paris.
Just after Christmas last year he opened his mail to discover the first of what has now amounted to three different tickets for a clearly impossible parking infringements.
Back then he joked about it, sent a letter by registered delivery saying there must have been some mistake and thought no more of it.
He didn't receive any response.
In May a second ticket plopped through his letterbox - the same registration number (his tractor), the same street - rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis in Paris.
This time he wasn't so amused, as he told the regional daily, La Montagne.
"Once again I sent letter by registered delivery and I also filed a complaint," he told the paper.
"The first time it made me smile, but for it to happen a second time means that it's clearly not a computer error."
The response? There wasn't one - well not to his letter.
But there was another parking ticket - a third one - that arrived this week. Same registration number (his tractor of course), same street.
"To me it's obvious that someone is driving around with false number plates," he told RTL radio.
"I've half a mind to drive to Paris just to see if I can actually drive a tractor along rue du Faubourg Saint-Denis and, who knows, perhaps I'll actually find the vehicle that's driving around with the same licence plate."
Should Pilak actually carry out his "threat" he would likely have the backing of the mayor of Gouzougnat, Eric Yoth, who thinks the whole story has now gone beyond a joke.
"It surely can't be that difficult to find the vehicle or the owner as three tickets have now been issued - all in the same street," he told Agence France Presse.
"This ridiculous story has to have an end."

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