Running a red light...

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by armourer, Nov 26, 2004.

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  1. Ran a red light in the car this morning in order to let a fire engine on blue lights through.

    My action caused no probl;ems as all the other traffic had stopped.

    Tried to ring local rozzers, 3 different stations but all busy.

    Assuming the camera has caught me will the reason for running the lights save me from a fine and points ?
  2. If the camera also got the fire engine, i'd say so. Was there definitely a camera? Not all of them have one.
  3. The reason why you did so should also be proven by the camera itself. You have the date and time when it happened, as well as the fire station being able to verify the reason too if need be. Depending how watless the police are, it should be very self-explanatory.

    P.S. Road Traffic Act 1988 say you're supposed to shift safely out the way anyway.
  4. Not sure, tried to ring the accident reduction unit to find out........ but, they were busy to.
  5. Running a red light is a "strict liability" offence. This means that no matter how good your reason for doing so, if you do it and get caught then there is no defence to the charge.

    So if you were caught by the camera, there is a high probability that you will be sent a notice of intention to prosecute, even if there is a big fire engine in the pic beside your car.

    Try writing to the prosecuting authority (address will be on the letter) explaining the circumstances. There is a chance that they will not prosecute. If you can be bothered to give up a whole day, you could always refuse to accept the fixed penalty (£60 plus 3 points) and go along to the Magistrates' Court to plead your case. You will almost certainly end up with the same penalty anyway but at least you'll have been given the chance to rant.

    There is a remote possibility that provided that you have not pleaded guilty to the offence but are later convicted by the Mags, you can request an appeal within fourteen days of conviction. The appeal will be before a Crown Court Judge. This is done by writing to the Chief Clerk of the nearest Crown Court and not forgetting to state the type of offence, court code and date of conviction.

    The Chief Clerk has the power to schedule a short hearing and the legally qualified judge has the power to quash or reduce a conviction if they feel that there are mitigating factors.

    Finally, top tip for everyone: if a police car, ambulance or fire engine is trying to get past, DO NOT run a red light or enter a bus lane unlawfully in order to let them past. Let the crims go, person die or house burn instead. It's what the law forces you to do. Sirens and flashing lights are in legal terms no more than a request for the public to give way.
  6. Hope you don't get in the way of any emergency services that may be heading for my house. Get out the way, let them thru' and sort it later. Hopefully common sense will prevail.
  7. F*ck, looks like a day in court. :?
  8. Speeding and traffic-light cameras, and the slavish inability on the part of the authorities operating them, are a problem for the emergency services too:

    A friend of mine, who is a paramedic, got a ticket for speeding. The camera was on a trailer on the hard shoulder of the M11, and he was doing 65mph in a 50mph temp limit on an emergency, on a clear road at 0130. Despite writing with all the details, the prosecution went ahead. He had a barrister through the AA (any member can get help). They asked the prosecuting authority to provide details of how many police cars had been photographed in the county, and how many prosecutions there had been. They couldn't give an answer on numbers, and admitted that no police driver had been prosecuted. He was acquitted, and the Magistrates bollocked the prosecution for bringing a case which had no merit.

    When I worked as a paramedic, we were taught that notwithstanding the rules as explained by Dr Evil, if a red light is treated as a 'give way' you are unlikely to be prosecuted. If you have an accident, however, you are on your own.

    Armourer may be able to get some supporting evidence from the Fire Brigade as to timings, and could even call the crew commander as a witness, with useful lecturette on how delay could cost lives etc.
  9. Just don't tell the brigade you are/were a soldier. ;-)) ;-))
  10. The blue light services are allowed to break speed limits but only 'in the course of their duties'. They still have to apply a modicum of common dog to the situation. Not driving past schools at 60 mph at 3 o'clock for example.

    Interestingly red lights for traffic can be 'ignored' but pedestrian one can't (shouldn't!). I believe the rules for 'due care and attention' still apply.

    If they are involved in accidents then generally they're on their own and have to mount their own defence, - this can be difficult in some cases.
  11. Thanks for the advice folks, will wait and see if I get a ticket.
  12. Lots of forces have a target for numbers of prosecutions - red light jumping being so simple (strict liability, as mentioned) to prove, they can do a cut'n'paste prosecution file and you is nicked.

    I had a similar experience a few years ago, with a camera on a faulty light - it was stuck at red, I sat there for 7 minutes, the junction was one which needed a light for traffic flow rather than safety, and it was 3 am with no other cars. Brum brum, off I went, click flash, see you in court Steamy. I went and explained all this to the Magistrate, whereupon the Coppers solicitor stood up and said 'the light was not faulty'. A blatant lie. £135 and 3 points.

    Some years later I was working for the same force as a support staff person, and a colleague (recently retired copper) confirmed to me that, yes, that light had been faulty and had netted about fifty 'easy' convictions - most pleaded guilty by post and sent in a cheque. He seemed to think it was funny, so I killed and ate him.
  13. if you find yourself in that situation, do what i do , cover the lens of the camera and drive past, otherwise drive round it
  14. Armourer... As a serving fire bobby.. The law I think says that traffic must make an attempt to get out of the way and it is an offence to obstruct the fire engine.... I think it would be a very witless person who would decide to prosecute in this case.....good luck.. and thank you
  15. Like mentioned, it is in the RTA 1988 that you are to do so without causing a hindrance yourself.

    You serious??! I hope they're never on the way to your home :roll:

    Yes, I agree with the 'ethics' of strict liability - but as Steamy Window has mentioned, that because we simply 'give up and pay up' for such an offence - it works for the benefit of the money-hungry.
    I had the unfortunate of being caught by a speed camera at 5am on the A40 - gutted and guilty, but thought I see if I could persuade my arrse out of it....... I stated that it was my car, but believed I wasn't the driver, and ask for further pictures (they had offered). Got the pics - they said they were satisfied that it was my car; I replied fine its definitely my car, but since they were asking for driver's name, it could be the time when I was suddenly taken ill, and 'mate' had to drive instead - hence the hurry - and I had met 'mate' that evening - hence no full name.

    I was given conditional offer of fine only (they really was interested in the money - sod the points). I wrote back - said although I may not of been the driver still, I'll take the offer.

    They never pursued it. Strict liabilty..... perhaps I was just lucky, but it doesn't necessarily mean you must take NIP's (Notice of Intending to Prosecute) just like that.