A travelling paint salesman from Normandy has been fined €135 after being spotted by police urinating along a country road.
The 64-year-old was driving between Luzarches and Chaumontel in the Val-d'Oise department in northern France on June 30 when he made a quick pit stop.
Claude Conejero said he chose to relieve himself in a layby after not being able to find a publicly available toilet. He said he thought the place seemed appropriate.
“On my side of the road there was only a field and on the other side, it was a forest,” he told news site Actu.fr.
Soon after getting back in his car, a police car pulled up alongside him.
They asked if he had just urinated and Mr Conejero confirmed that he had. The police took his details and told him he would be fined.
“Initially they told me that the fine was about €60, but when I received it at home I found that it was much more expensive,” Mr Conejero said of the €135 fine.
“But what should people like me do who have to drive for their job? What about older men who have prostate issues?” He said.
Mr Conejero said he thought about appealing the fine but in the end decided not to. He said, however, that he wished to warn people about the possibility of getting a fine for peeing in public – even on remote country roads.
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It is not common for people in France to be fined for urinating in remote areas, but Mr Conejero is not the first person to be hit with a fine for this.
In 2019, François Laffineur, who was in his 80s, was on a day out with his wife around Normandy when they got stuck in traffic. The unexpected delay put pressure on his bladder and he was desperate to pee. As soon as he could, he found a place to park the car to relieve himself.
He was fined €68 by police.
The act is now considered a class 4 offence, meaning that the fine for it is €135.
Both Mr Conejero and Mr Laffineur were charged with the offence of “discharge of unsanitary liquids outside authorised areas”.
The official law states that it is illegal to dispose of, abandon, throw or dump “rubbish, waste, excrement, materials, unhealthy liquids or any other object of any nature whatsoever, including urinating on the public highway” in a public or private place without permission.
It means that you can urinate on your own land or on someone else’s if they give you permission.
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