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TowMonkey
Speed limit was 40 miles an hour and I was driving just a touch under that at the speed of the traffic with cars in front and behind.

Traffic lights changed to amber at that awkward moment and I took a moment to decide whether to continue through or stop. I decided to stop but didn't want to slam the brakes on and the result was that I crossed the line (although I was well short of entering the actual junction).

There must have been a camera and so now I have the choice between fine+points, educational course or a trip court.

Essex Police haven't provided the pictures or any other evidence. Is there any point in me requesting more information or is it a lost cause given that I crossed the line?

Thanks in advance for any assistance.
peterguk
If yiu know part of your car crossed the line on red, then there seems little point in asking for photos.
Jlc
The offence is complete if any part of your vehicle moves over the stop line during red. (Amber also means stop but if you cannot stop before the line during this phase then you can pass as if the light was green)

The camera's do not arm until shortly after red and on top of the 3 seconds of amber.

It sounds like you've named the driver which means they will not release anything further unless you opt to plead not guilty at court. (They may release photo's if you ask for any pictures they have to help identify the driver)

How far past the line were you? (It's probably a lost cause though)
TowMonkey
I was quite far over the line - it was touch or go whether I should have continued and I suspect that if I'd kept going I may well have been clear enough to avoid triggering the camera.

I had hoped I might be able to argue that stopping under control was the safer than braking hard or continuing over the junction (which I believe it was) but if they won't even let me have the pictures then I'm not going to risk going to court and extra incurring costs.
peterguk
QUOTE (TowMonkey @ Tue, 4 Oct 2016 - 19:56) *
I had hoped I might be able to argue


There is nothing to argue. You crossed the line when red - job done.
southpaw82
QUOTE (TowMonkey @ Tue, 4 Oct 2016 - 19:56) *
I had hoped I might be able to argue that stopping under control was the safer than braking hard or continuing over the junction (which I believe it was)

You could have done if the light had been amber not red.
Jlc
It's possible if you didn't brake, then you could have missed the armed sensor, yes. It appears to gambled with amber and simply 'lost' this time.

I can't see anything to argue in the circumstances described. Unless the amber duration is at fault (has to be 3 seconds +/- 0.25s) then you seem defenceless.

The pictures will almost certainly show you on over the stop line and then 0.5 seconds down the road...

The course is probably a good option to avoid the points - just check your insurer doesn't load for them...
TowMonkey
Thanks for all the responses.

Feels a bit like I'm being punished for _trying_ to do the right thing but as I suspected it sounds like there's nothing to be done and it's off to driving school for me.
andy_foster
QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 4 Oct 2016 - 20:05) *
There is nothing to argue. You crossed the line when red - job done.


I must have missed the bit where the OP told us that the lights were red when he crossed the line.

@OP have you already named yourself as the driver?
peterguk
QUOTE (andy_foster @ Tue, 4 Oct 2016 - 23:00) *
QUOTE (peterguk @ Tue, 4 Oct 2016 - 20:05) *
There is nothing to argue. You crossed the line when red - job done.


I must have missed the bit where the OP told us that the lights were red when he crossed the line.


I was making the fair assumption the camera was operating correctly and fired on red.
TowMonkey
I don't think I saw the red light but the car was probably still coming to a halt when it went red and the front of the car at least would have been over the line.

I have already named myself as driver as it was a friend's car I had borrowed and I didn't want them to sweat about it.
The Rookie
To clarify, have you replied naming yourself yet or not?

If you have not then there would be nothing to be lost by including a letter in with it explaining what happened, admitting you committed the offence but asking them to apply some compassion to your case on the basis you were stopping and not attempting to cross the junction. They do sometimes show some leneancy.
andy_foster
QUOTE (TowMonkey @ Wed, 5 Oct 2016 - 00:45) *
I have already named myself as driver as it was a friend's car I had borrowed and I didn't want them to sweat about it.



QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 5 Oct 2016 - 03:22) *
To clarify, have you replied naming yourself yet or not?


Que?
The Rookie
I am wondering, due to the wording, if he believes he's named himself on the form sent to his friend, which is not the formal response required as presumably it will appear to come from his friend, he would then be required to name himself in responce to the requirement addressed to him.

Just for reference, it should be easy to stop from 40mph in the distance available created by the 3 seconds of amber, so it may be worth considering how you came to cross the line.
TowMonkey
> To clarify, have you replied naming yourself yet or not?

Yes, my friend returned his form and I returned the one sent to me after that.

>If you have not then there would be nothing to be lost by including a letter in with it explaining what happened, admitting you committed the offence but asking them to apply some compassion to your case on the basis you were stopping and not attempting to cross the junction. They do sometimes show some leneancy.

I did include a letter when I responded and explained what happened but the reply said it was clear an offence had been committed.

> Just for reference, it should be easy to stop from 40mph in the distance available created by the 3 seconds of amber, so it may be worth considering how you came to cross the line.

I was slightly slow making the decision and when I did decide to stop I didn't brake hard. The car may have been moving as the light turned red but only slowly in the final phase of stopping. I didn't think much of it at the time - I was aware that I'd been late stopping but it didn't feel like an offence.
Jlc
QUOTE (TowMonkey @ Wed, 5 Oct 2016 - 09:23) *
...but it didn't feel like an offence.

I understand what you mean but the law is quite clear on this. Unless the amber duration is 'faulty' then you appear to be on the back foot.
The Rookie
The car was (almost certainly) moving when the lights turned red, otherwise the sensors would not have triggered. Most systems use a delay of circa 0.5seconds before arming, so you were not only still moving when the lights went red but continued and crossed the line more than 3.5 (+/-0.25)* seconds after the amber light came on. A modern car can stop from 40mph in about 1.8 seconds.

As above I don't think you have a leg to stand on - had you asked for photo's to 'help confirm the drivers ID' before naming yourself they may possible have shown something that could have helped.

*(amber is lit for 3 +/-0.25 seconds plus the 0.5 seconds assumed arming time).
Lodesman
From the Essex Safety Camera site.

The red-light enforcement cameras currently used in the SERP’s area use inductive loops buried in the carriageway in the vicinity of the stop-line to detect vehicles that disobey a red traffic signal. The cameras are triggered when a vehicle crosses the stop line at the same time a red signal is showing. When an offending vehicle is captured, two photographs are taken less than a second apart to show the vehicle travelling across the junction when the red signal is displayed. The speed of the offending vehicle and the time the red signal had been displayed when the offence occurred is also recorded.

I would assume that if you rolled up and stopped on or just over the line your speed would register as virtually zero and, while an offence has taken place, it is unlikely that a prosecution would follow. Likely the decision to prosecute or not would depend not only on the fact that the line had been crossed but also that the car's speed indicated that the car was continuing across the junction.
The Rookie
I think you've made a massive and likely incorrect assumption.

They don't even routinely check Gatso photos to confirm the (notoriously unreliable) radar speed anymore.
Lodesman
You may be correct but, from my local Kent safety camera site, as regards red light cameras, the following.

Sensors that detect vehicle movement are embedded in the road surface at the junction. These are attached directly to the camera, so if a vehicle crosses the solid white line when the traffic lights are at red, it will automatically take two photographs 0.5 seconds apart. Two photographs are taken to prove that the vehicle has continued through the junction and therefore not just crossed the line and stopped.
Fredd
No doubt that's true, but it doesn't mean that they actually look at the photos before bashing out the usual NIP/s172, let alone ponder whether they should display leniency based on what the photos show.
Lodesman
Certainly Fredd but, at least, if you felt aggrieved, there should be photographic evidence that could be used in mitigation.
The Rookie
Except mitigation is usually more expensive than the fixed penalty, so if they don't amount to a defence then it's all rather irrelevant.
Logician
A couple of years ago I was waiting at a red light when an ambulance came up behind me, with blues and twos going strong. I knew there was a red light camera in place. These were very long lights and I sat there for what seemed like an eternity with this all going on behind me, because I knew full well that I had no legal basis for going through the lights. Eventually I could hold out no longer, wondering whether really I could justify potentially putting someone's life at risk for the sake of avoiding a fixed penalty. I drove forward slowly at as sharp an angle as I could, so that the photograph would show both the ambulance and my car at such an angle that I had clearly not simply jumped the lights. This tactic apparently worked, because I never heard anything from the police.
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