A guy was apparently fined for taking a nap on a park bench. The fine, $200, was issued to him while he was taking a 15 minute snooze while taking shelter from the rain. He was approached by 2 NPark rangers and was told that he had abused park facilities by sleeping on the park bench. Faster than the lightning of the rain, he was issued a ticket.

Personally, I didn’t know that such things could happen. Now, I am beginning to be worried if I will be fined if I accidentally dozed off while waiting for my friends. Perhaps, then, I will pass the fine around for everyone to share since they could have been late. 🙂

And mind you, falling asleep at the park bench is just one of the many “don’ts” on the NPark list – which is not even exhaustive at the website.

Costly park bench nap

Nappers can be fined $200 for misue of park facility.

WHAT was supposed to be a free 15-minute nap on a park bench turned into a costly snooze for one Singaporean.

The New Paper on Tuesday reported that a 62-year-old, who only wanted to be known as Mr Kassim, was fined $200 when he dozed off on a Sun Plaza Park bench while taking shelter from the rain.

The National Parks Board (NParks) fined the private bus driver for having misused the park facility by sleeping on the bench.

The incident happened on Sept 1 at a park in Tampines.

Mr Kassim had dozed off on one of the wooden benches while seeking shelter from a heavy downpour. He woke up about 15 minutes later to see two men, who would later identify themselves as NParks rangers, walking towards him.

They asked for his identity card, told him he had ‘abused park facilities by sleeping on the park bench,’ and issued him a ticket.

Mr Kassim accepted the ticket despite not knowing it was an offence to sleep on a park bench.

Five days later, he received an NParks letter detailing his offence and asking him to pay the $200 fine. When he went to the NParks office to make payment, he claimed he was told by a staff member that he could appeal.

But he decided against it, citing it would be a hassle.

According to an NParks spokesman, more than 10 people have been fined for misusing the facilities in the parks. The spokesman did not say if these specifically involved sleeping on park benches.

He told TNP: ‘We try to create the conditions that make visitors feel at ease… When people abuse our parks by overstaying or squatting, they make genuine park users feel uncomfortable. Others sleep on benches or in shelters in an inconsiderate manner and deny park users from these facilities.’

Of eight regular park-goers surveyed by The New Paper, none knew that sleeping on park benches was an offence.

On the NParks website, there is a list of ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ for visiting parks. Sleeping on a park bench was not among the ‘Don’ts’, but there was a disclaimer which said the list was ‘not exhaustive or intended to be a complete list of the prohibitions or regulations governing our parks’.

Source: Straits Times Interactive, http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_290308.html

Article extracted on 14 October 2008

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