A Chinese tourist in the UK was locked in a police cell for driving too slowly, according to a new report. Qiaoyon Wang was pulled over for driving 40mph in a 70mph zone while trying to find friends in Hull city
The 39-year-old was unable to pay the £100 fixed penalty notice when police stopped her in the eastbound carriageway on the A63, and was held in police cells for 15 hours before appearing in Hull Magistrates' Court.
Wang said that she was "confused" when a police car flashed its lights at her hire car. According to Daily Mail, Wang, speaking via a Mandarin interpreter, admitted to driving without due care and attention, but later called the police "a bit cruel" and said that they "showed no mercy".
Prosecution lawyer Andrew Stirling said a police constable became "concerned" about her driving. He said: "He says there were no other motor vehicles near the defendant's car. Miss Wang was wandering from lane to lane for no apparent reason. She did also apply her brakes for some reason at that point."
Stirling also added there was "some disagreement" between the officer and Wang and that the tourist "wanted to be arrested" because she could not pay the fine.
The 39-year-old had been visiting friends in Sheffield, where she previously studied and was making her way to Hull University to meet another group of friends. However, Lawrence Watts, defending, said that Wang could not understand the interpreter provided by police through "Language Line".
Watts told magistrates: "There is no crime in doing less than 70mph on a dual carriageway. There is no entry, so far as I'm aware, in the Highway Code that recognises a headlight flashing in someone's mirror as an acceptable signal from the police.
"To say Miss Wang has ignored signals from a police car is perhaps overstating the position."
Watts further added: "Miss Wang accepts that she suffered from a relatively short-term lapse in concentration, and found herself treating the outside lane as if it was the slow lane, because that's of course how she would have driven in her native China. She didn't know what to do and she panicked."
After referring to her colleagues, Janice Petherbridge, Chairman of the Bench, told Miss Wang, "We have heard what has been said today about the circumstances, and we feel the fact that you have spent approximately 15 hours in custody is sufficient punishment for this offence."
"We therefore make an absolute discharge, which means that will be the end of this matter. Enjoy the rest of your holiday."
After being released from court, Ms Wang shared her thoughts on the incident. She said, "I think the police were a bit cruel and showed no mercy. But I like England. I met some very nice people today, including Lawrence the solicitor at court."