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NIP Red light
Biggins
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:32
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Hi All,
Question on behalf of my wife - she has received a NIP for running a red light. She actually stopped at the light behind another car - car in front then decided to go while light was still red, she just followed the car in front. Light had been red for 29 seconds so no fixed penalty. The speed indicated on NIP is 12mph. Would a court see this as a "lesser" offence than if she had simply driven across the junction at the speed limit completely ignoring the light and therefore she gets a reduced fine?
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post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:32
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morrisman
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:34
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I would say not, long time into the red.
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Logician
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:45
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I doubt it, but she could say in mitigation that she was deceived by the car in front moving off and crossed the junction at low speed, there was no crossing traffic, if that is true. It will be three points anyway, the only variable is the fine.

This post has been edited by Logician: Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:51


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peterguk
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:50
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QUOTE (Logician @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:45) *
I doubt it, but she could say in mitigation that she was deceived by the car in front moving off and crossed the junction at low speed, there was no crossing traffic, if that is true.


"deceived"? Really?


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StuartBu
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 11:08
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 11:50) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:45) *
I doubt it, but she could say in mitigation that she was deceived by the car in front moving off and crossed the junction at low speed, there was no crossing traffic, if that is true.


"deceived"? Really?

Possibly not the right choice of word but I think I know what was meant ... if his wife wasn’t paying attention ( tho’ not a good idea to tell the Court that ) the car in front moving off could have surprised her and suggested to her the lights had changed without her checking.
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peterguk
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 11:22
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QUOTE (StuartBu @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 11:08) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 11:50) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 10:45) *
I doubt it, but she could say in mitigation that she was deceived by the car in front moving off and crossed the junction at low speed, there was no crossing traffic, if that is true.


"deceived"? Really?

Possibly not the right choice of word but I think I know what was meant ... if his wife wasn’t paying attention ( tho’ not a good idea to tell the Court that ) the car in front moving off could have surprised her and suggested to her the lights had changed without her checking.



I agree with your interpretation. So maybe best to cut out the "blaming someone else" and simply apologise for a lapse in concentration?


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Logician
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 14:22
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I think deceived is a perfectly suitable word actually, the car in front moved off and she assumed the lights had changed, it does not imply it was a deliberate act of deception by the other driver and of course it goes without saying that she should have looked at the lights themselves, but she was deceived, misled, confused, duped, deluded, misguided or given the wrong impression by the action of the other driver and as it would not have happened without that action in was not merely a lapse in concentration.


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peterguk
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 14:36
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QUOTE (Logician @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 14:22) *
I think deceived is a perfectly suitable word actually, the car in front moved off and she assumed the lights had changed, it does not imply it was a deliberate act of deception by the other driver and of course it goes without saying that she should have looked at the lights themselves, but she was deceived, misled, confused, duped, deluded, misguided or given the wrong impression by the action of the other driver and as it would not have happened without that action in was not merely a lapse in concentration.


I guess it'll depend on the Mags on the day, but IMHO, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure they drive within the law. Not to blindly follow the car in front.

"I'm not guilty of speeding officer - i was simply following the car in front"...


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Logician
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 14:50
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QUOTE (peterguk @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 14:36) *
QUOTE (Logician @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 14:22) *
I think deceived is a perfectly suitable word actually, the car in front moved off and she assumed the lights had changed, it does not imply it was a deliberate act of deception by the other driver and of course it goes without saying that she should have looked at the lights themselves, but she was deceived, misled, confused, duped, deluded, misguided or given the wrong impression by the action of the other driver and as it would not have happened without that action in was not merely a lapse in concentration.
I guess it'll depend on the Mags on the day, but IMHO, it is the driver's responsibility to ensure they drive within the law. Not to blindly follow the car in front. "I'm not guilty of speeding officer - i was simply following the car in front"...


Of course it is, there is no question about that, and she is of course guilty, I am merely suggesting some words by way of explanation, which possibly do not even amount to any mitigation worth speaking of, and are unlikely to make any appreciable difference to the fine. However many people do like to explain why they took some action, even if the explanation does not constitute mitigation, so the suggestion is offered with that in mind.



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Biggins
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 17:33
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Thanks for your thoughts.

I went and had a look at the junction earlier and it's easy to see what happened: Car in front was waiting in the cycle ASL area and could therefore only see the light for the right filter which controls a separated lane to the right. It was too far forward to see the main lights as the ASL for the right filter lane is a car-length ahead of the main road. Cars waiting to filter right would be directly along-side. Filter light changes to green - car in front and right filter traffic all begin to move, and wife just follows. Nothing except buses goes across, so no crossing traffic late on a Sunday night.

This all happened at night - the ASL road markings are a mess with the lines for the cameras also there, so an easy mistake to make. While I was watching (daytime) I saw someone else almost do exactly the same thing.

From what you're saying none of this will make any difference so I guess she'll just have to be apologetic and hope for the best.

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cp8759
post Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 19:19
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QUOTE (Logician @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 11:45) *
I doubt it, but she could say in mitigation that she was deceived by the car in front moving off and crossed the junction at low speed, there was no crossing traffic, if that is true. It will be three points anyway, the only variable is the fine.


Confessing to driving without due care and attention might not impress, and the word deceive might suggest an attempt to shift blame.

Contrition/remorse and full acceptance of blame might work better. In fact I would go the other way, and say something like "I accept the actions of the driver in front is no excuse for my actions".

Normally if you fully accept that what you've done is wrong, that helps, attempting to shift blame elsewhere might suggest that the offender doesn't accept she/he is fully responsible for the offence. After all, if they gave a lower fine on the grounds suggested, the message they're giving is that if you follow someone through a red light because you're not paying attention is not as bad as just driving straight through a red light.
It would follow that a person who witnesses a red light offence has less of a deterrent to do the same than someone who doesn't witness such an offence, I doubt the court would want to give such a message.

Even if the bench take the opposite view, and think that the actions of the driver in front do reduce culpability, they would still see a statement to the opposite effect as evidence that the offender accepts full responsibility and this might reduce their perception of a need for punishment through a steep fine.

This post has been edited by cp8759: Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 19:20


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The Rookie
post Mon, 13 Nov 2017 - 01:29
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QUOTE (Biggins @ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 - 18:33) *
Thanks for your thoughts.

I went and had a look at the junction earlier and it's easy to see what happened: Car in front was waiting in the cycle ASL area and could therefore only see the light for the right filter which controls a separated lane to the right.

So are you saying that a car that is possibly legally (though usually not) stopped at the ASL, along with the cyclists stopped there cannot see a red light that is for them at all?


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StuartBu
post Mon, 13 Nov 2017 - 13:11
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TO OP...Can you post a link to Google Streetview or tell us where the junction is so we can have a look ..

This post has been edited by StuartBu: Mon, 13 Nov 2017 - 13:11
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andy_foster
post Mon, 13 Nov 2017 - 14:46
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I would suggest writing a letter of mitigation, stressing that whilst she has no excuse for breaking the law, and understands that the obligation to obey traffic signals is hers and hers alone, she would respectfully invite the court to consider whether the degree of wrong-doing and potential danger caused is less than might otherwise be indicated by an offence so long into the red light phase.

Passing a red light 29 seconds after it became lit tends to suggest blindly sailing through the junction, oblivious and with utter disregard to the lights and any traffic that might be crossing, with potentially catastrophic consequences. Being misled by the actions of the car in front does not negate her duty to obey the traffic signals, but it is something that anybody not really paying proper attention might do, as opposed to blindly sailing through... Similarly, the first car to go through the junction potential poses a massive danger to other vehicles and pedestrians which might be crossing the junction on a green light and would not expect cars to be crossing their paths, but a car following such a car, whilst still clearly breaking the law is unlikely to take anyone by surprise.


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Biggins
post Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 08:12
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QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 13 Nov 2017 - 01:29) *
So are you saying that a car that is possibly legally (though usually not) stopped at the ASL, along with the cyclists stopped there cannot see a red light that is for them at all?

I did think that, but it's wrong. The lights for straight on are close to the ASL but are visible if you're at the ASL. If you were bit over (but still in line with cars legally behind their ASL in the right filter lane) then the filter light would be where you'd expect your light to be. Of course this is all speculating as to what the car in front did. My wife just followed!
I don't really think there is any excuse here, but it seems lots of people do get caught out here judging from the comments I got at work yesterday when I mentioned this.

This is the junction additional lines have been painted across the cycle area presumably for the camera to determine speed. Wife was in the left lane to go straight on.
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Jlc
post Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 08:59
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QUOTE (Biggins @ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 08:12) *
This is the junction additional lines have been painted across the cycle area presumably for the camera to determine speed. Wife was in the left lane to go straight on.

Looks like the road has been resurfaced. In 2012 it looked like this. You can clearly see the marks where the buried sensors are - looks like they may have been installed in the bike area. (An offence occurs passing the ASL but many camera's use the stop line instead as the cycle boxes were added afterwards)


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cp8759
post Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 09:01
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QUOTE (Biggins @ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 09:12) *
I don't really think there is any excuse here, but it seems lots of people do get caught out here judging from the comments I got at work yesterday when I mentioned this.

This is the junction additional lines have been painted across the cycle area presumably for the camera to determine speed. Wife was in the left lane to go straight on.

Well that makes things a lot clearer, although I don't understand how anyone would be "caught out", if you miss the turn right lane I don't believe you can legally turn right, no matter what colour the lights are, because of the "ahead only" sign.

Did you wife also turn right? If she did, it might be best not to mention that (they can't punish her for an offence she's not charged with, but admitting to ignoring the ahead only sign would probably not impress).

I think the mitigation suggested by andy_foster is her best bet.


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I am not on the "motorists's side", nor am I on the "police/CPS/council's" side, I am simply in favour of the rule of law.
No, I am not a lawyer.
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JC Denton
post Wed, 15 Nov 2017 - 07:38
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QUOTE (Biggins @ Tue, 14 Nov 2017 - 08:12) *
I don't really think there is any excuse here, but it seems lots of people do get caught out here judging from the comments I got at work yesterday when I mentioned this.


Bristol have a programme to return their cameras to service after they were turned off for a number of years (it was a commitment by the Mayor), chances are this one just went 'live' again and that's what's caught people out.

Give it time (if it hasn't already) I am sure the camera on the opposite approach will re-appear too to service too.

JC
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