STUCK in bumper-to-bumper traffic, mum-to-be Natalie was hit by a wave of nausea and a sudden need to vomit.
But her decision to make an illegal turn into a side street so she could reach for a paper bag has turned into a fight with police over a $366 fine.
An officer confronted her when she stopped her car after turning left from Grange Rd into Abbotshall Rd, Hawthorn, between 4pm and 6pm when it was not permitted because it is a notorious "rat run".
Natalie, who asked that her surname not be published, is now challenging the penalty on the grounds of common sense and compassion and says that she is prepared to go to court to fight the fine.
"That ban is to stop people using the Abbotshall Rd as a shortcut during peak hour to get on to Belair Rd and avoid the lights (at the intersection of Grange and Belair roads)," the 36-year-old human resources manager, of Highgate, said.
"That's not what I was doing because as soon as I turned left I pulled over, grabbed the bag, took some deep breaths and then the nausea receded."
Natalie, who was 29 weeks pregnant with daughter Isabella at the time of the offence on November 10 and suffered from "serious reflux", said police were waiting to nab drivers and that she was fined despite explaining her situation.
She said that stopping her vehicle on Grange Rd was not an option because of the parking restrictions and because she would have blocked traffic.
"I explained my situation to the officer who said he was sorry but had to issue me with a fine," Natalie said. "I was shocked that I didn't just get a warning based on common sense and compassion for my situation."
Natalie said she was driving from work at Bedford Park to her parents' house at Beaumont, via Fullarton Rd.
She wrote to the police expiation notice branch on November 17, asking for the fine to be withdrawn. Her letter included a letter from her obstetrician confirming she suffered severe "sudden and unpredictable" nausea and vomiting during her pregnancy.
Expiation notice branch operations manager Glenn Thomson replied in a letter dated November 25, saying "I appreciate the circumstances" but the fine "will stand".
Unley Liberal MP David Pisoni has taken up Natalie's case and said police should withdraw the fine. He said that this case warranted "no more than a warning".
"There's no doubt this Government has become addicted to revenue-raising through traffic fines, which has put police under pressure to err on the side of revenue-raising rather than using their discretion to give a warning," he said.
Natalie's case has been referred to the police Criminal Justice Section, which will determine whether the matter goes to court or whether the fine be withdrawn.
Wdyt? Should she have to pay the fine?