Motorists broke the law at hot pennies

Sterling efforts of volunteers ignored.

The sterling efforts of volunteers who trained at short notice to marshal road closures during Honiton’s ancient hot pennies ceremony were ignored by drivers.

Police say motorists who nudged on through crowds in a packed High Street last Tuesday lunchtime broke the law.

A spokeswoman told the Midweek Herald: “It is an offence to ignore a road closure sign.

“We can issue fixed penalty notices for this which would be a �60 fine and three points on their licence.

“However, this has to be done at the time by a police officer witnessing the offence.”

Town clerk Lyn Hargood, who helped arrange specialist training for volunteers, said: “The marshals, who had gone through all the appropriate training at short notice following the non-availability of police at such events, did a wonderful job on their first duty on road closures – on what became a very busy day.

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“Unfortunately, their powers are not equal to those of the police and they could not take any action against those drivers who moved cones or ignored the road block.

“In addition, one of two cars that were parked in the High Street decided to move their vehicle during the event – again, the marshals had no powers to stop this happening.”

The marshals will be meeting next week to discuss the event and decide what further preventative measures can be taken in future to minimise risks to pedestrians.

One motorist was observed moving a traffic cone outside The Volunteer Inn so he could park and other drivers had the audacity to do U-turns outside Honiton Police Station.