But a new list of the most ridiculous parking tickets ever issued shows that almost nothing will stop the determined parking warden from slapping a ticket on a vehicle.
Indeed, it suggests a host of ways that officious officials can take advantage of drivers when they are at their most vulnerable.
Driven to distraction:
Lorry driver Michael Collins was on his way to collect a skip in London's Belsize Park when the road beneath him collapsed. A burst water main had created a deep hole where the front wheels of his 17-tonne lorry were now stuck.
While he was waiting for roadside assistance, a parking attendant appeared. To the astonishment of nearby residents - and despite Mr Collins' protests, she stood on tiptoe and plastered a parking ticket on his windscreen - while helpfully telling him: "You can appeal".
If a tree fell on your car and you escaped death by inches, you might expect some sympathy from your local council. But there was no sign of compassion from Wychavon District Council for Nicky Clegg of Stoulton, Worcs, after when a tree crashed down on her car as she drove her 82-year-old mother and 11-year-old son.
Police dragged the wrecked car - with crushed bonnet, smashed windscreen and broken wing mirrors - to the roadside and told Mrs Clegg she could leave it there and pick it up the following day. When she came back, a parking ticket was stuck on the window.
Think that being badly injured is an excuse to park illegally? Think again. When Nadhim Zahawi of South London was thrown from his scooter and left lying in the road with a broken leg, a heartless warden from Lambeth Council slapped a £100 ticket on his bike.
You leave your horse in the street and what do you expect to find when you get back? A small pile of manure perhaps, but not a parking ticket.
Yet this is exactly what happened to Robert McFarland, a retired blacksmith from Yorkshire, when he left his horse Charlie Boy for a few moments.
Under the vehicle description on the ticket, the over-zealous warden had written "brown horse".
You've been ticketed:
It was a terrifying ordeal for Fred Holt, 77, when he went to the bank and two masked men burst in brandishing an axe and a machete.
The robbers held the axe to a young cashier's throat while money was handed over, and the customers were forced to lie on the floor. Later, they had to give statements to police.
It seems traffic wardens had not listened when officers told them about the raid and asked them not to issue tickets. Mr Holt found a £30 parking ticket pinned to his windscreen for staying 20 minutes longer than allowed.
"Do something amazing today" runs the slogan of the National Blood Service. In Sutton, a traffic warden did just that - by ticketing a blood donor lorry.
The mobile National Blood Service truck had parked at the same spot in Sutton, Surrey, for four years when the zealous parking attendant issued a ticket while donors gave blood inside.
Sutton council eventually waived the fine, saying the parking attendant had made a simple error of judgment. Or to put it more aptly, a rush of blood to the head.
Manchester bus driver Chris O'Mahony pulled up at a bus stop in his No 77 to let passengers on. While he was handing them their tickets, a Manchester City Council parking attendant handed him one.
Passengers looked on in disbelief as the warden joined the queue to prepare the parking ticket, deposited the £40 notice and walked off.
The driver, apparently, had parked in a restricted area. The attendant said he'd been told to issue tickets to buses that park.
Council bosses cancelled the ticket and the warden was sent for retraining - hopefully as something other than a warden.
David Holmes felt chest pains as he was driving and headed for hospital, where he was forced to park on the roadside and was treated for a heart attack.
A nurse thoughtfully left a note on the windscreen explaining the emergency and saying Mr Holmes's daughter would pick the car up later.
It proved futile. A parking attendant slapped a parking ticket on the car and despite an appeal to the local council the £40 fine was not cancelled.
Krister Nylander was dismayed to receive a parking ticket in the post for parking in Warwick.
But he knew the ticket had to be wrong - he lives in Sweden and had not visited England since he was 16.
The offending vehicle was his 20-ton snowmobile, which had barely ever left his barn, let alone Sweden.
How did it get the ticket? Absolutely no Ikea.
A driving instructor was issued with a CCTV parking ticket when his pupil stalled while attempting a three-point turn and could not restart the car.
The offence? Parking more than 50 centimetres from the ke