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Mot
Hi folks, i'd like to say "hi, i'm shaun, 21 from cannock in staffordshire"
im hoping to pick your brains on something that happened to me today (as im sure many newbies do when they join up, i hope i have the right forum, i apologise if i don't)

i was heading down a road around 10 miles away from where i live with a friend, i know it quite well as i worked that way for a while, it goes from a residential area into a country lane (30-50 and then on to 60mph) although that has nothing to to with the help i'm after, there are traffic lights just before it turns into a 50mph stretch of road, they're placed on a cross road which is two way, they changed as i went over them. i went over on amber, as they changed to red....it was on of those where if you stopped you'd have had to hit the breaks hard and the ABS would have kicked in (never the less, someone else followed me through)

anyway, going along the road to lichfield i see blues and two behind me signalling to pull over, so i waited untill safe to do so and pulled over. I'd not been speeding or anything, the roads were wet and greasy.

i got into the police car, the officer (on his own, with no recording equipment of any kind, no video and no voice) was adamant that i went through the light on red, although he was two cars behind me and followed through anyway! i stressed to him that they were amber and i didn't want to hit the breaks hard and possibly cause an accident...

i questioned him as to where his proof will come from, with no recording equipment and no other officer to back him up...his response was "what do you think they did in the days before camera's"

i carried on with these sort of questions - how could you tell with the distance that was between me and you that i went through on red, after all in this weather we're all keeping our distance...
i got back to that "i just do, i can judge stuff like that well"

i went on and told him that I'll be contesting it in court and that im not going be another 1 on his tally for the gaffer (was a little angry i have to admit) nor am i willing to accept points and a fine for something that was completely lawful!

he asked me to sign the fixed penalty notice, which i refused...he didnt even radio me through on the National Police Computer to find out whether i was banned, insured or was even who i say i am!

im in two minds, one option is just ignore it all and when i eventually get a letter claim it wasn't even me as he has no proof it was or i can go to court and contest it.

sorry for how long winded that was folks, just want some opinions on it all and i've been told your the guru's on this kind of thing.

thanks in advance, Shaun

EDIT, i didnt add - i was given a fixed penalty notice and have to produce my documents at my local station within the next 7 days, although i had them all with me at the time.
DIPPER
QUOTE
EDIT, i didnt add - i was given a fixed penalty notice and have to produce my documents at my local station within the next 7 days, although i had them all with me at the time.


Fixed Penalty Notice or "producer"
kingjohn
You admitted to going through on amber, as far as I can see you have incriminated yourself. Crossing on amber is an offence.

As for fighting it, unless you can discredit the copper in a magistrates court, you don't really have a hope, I fear.

John
Mot
DIPPER - it's a fixed penalty notice, would it help if i put up a picture of it?

kingjohn - it went amber as i was virtually on the white line, i've read when they place camera's on traffic lights that they arent armed for for a second after the light has gone red, so in that instance i was more than safe?

i had a friend in the car with me, who was enraged to say the least at what went on...would he be any use in court with me?

how about the fact the officer was on his own, does he not need another officer or video evidence to show that it was even me that he pulled over?
kingjohn
Mot- I fully understand what you're saying, I do the same thing all the time, and I don't think it unreasonable to say nearly everybody does. However that doesn't change the fact that you admitted to the copper that you crossed the line on amber. You also said that in your post above. This is an offence.

I wish you all the best in getting off this, but I'm not optimistic. There are plenty of very knowledgeable people on this forum, and I'm sure they will be along shortly. They will see your title "it was amber" and know straight away what has happened and what you are arguing, as I did, before they open the thread.

If you had argued from the very beginning that the light changed from green to amber as you crossed the line, you would have a valid defence. Unfortunately you didn't.

John

To add, your friend may not be much use, as he couldn't be impartial.

I think, the word of a policeman is enough to convict if it goes that far. Others will clarify this for you.
Mot
sad.gif the system in this country stinks...i will fight it out an see what happens, i was hoping as the officer was on his own, there wouldn't be enough evidence. let's see what the guru's say?
nimh999
MOT

Amber does mean stop but if you were given an FPN for going through a red light then thats what the magistrates will hear it on if you decide to contest it in court. I had exactly the same 15 years ago and went to court and won on the point that I admitted to going through an amber. Don't think they need video evidence and it will be his word against yours.

As for saying it wasn't you. Thats dangerous ground. Perjury. Some on here will ask if you like showering with other men and if you do then just say it wasn't you and see the officer in court. And other men in prison.
g_attrill
You must stop for amber unless it would be unsafe. As far as I know there is no defence for crossing on red, it is assumed that the amber period gives ample time for any vehicle to stop.

Gareth
Mot
nimh999 - thanks, I'll send off the form on the bottom of the FPN letting them know I'd like to go to court and have my case heard, what's the worst outcome...I'd much rather try it and come out with a larger fine/court costs than just lie back an accept it.

g_attrill - the light was actually changing as i crossed the line, with other cars behind me (which DID follow through) i wouldn't have wanted to break and stop for them and maybe cause an accident. Would saying that be any use in court? I've never represented myself in court, i imagine it's going to be rather daunting sad.gif
kingjohn
Reading what you just said, you could have strong mitigation.
If there were cars following you, who weren't leaving a safe braking distance (as per Highway Code) and the roads were wet/greasy, then an emergency stop could have led to an accident.
However, that is mitigation to explain why you crossed on amber. It does not mean you are not guilty. You have already admitted guilt to the policeman, so if you plead not guilty in court, it will be your word against his - you are very unlikely to win.
If you plead guilty with that mitigation, as long as it is truthful, you could be let off. You can't ignore the fact that you have already admitted to crossing on amber.
John
Mot
I'm not questioning you, just wondering - will the officer remember what i said, it'll be months until we make it to court, the officer didn't take any notes of what i or he said and i wasn't made aware of any recording equipment in the car (if there was, he wouldn't be able to use it in court as this would be human rights act?) i also wasn't told that i would be "considered for prosecution" or "anything i do say maybe given in evidence"

The way the officer went about it just seemed un-proper for want of a better word, he wasn't professional with me and didn't say a lot, i have my friend who is more than happy to give evidence in court that 1, other cars followed me through the light and 2, the officer was a good 2 car lengths behind me, meaning his perspective was totally different to mine.

When i return my FPN letting them know that i'd like to go to court, can i enclose a letter explaining some of the above? or is that not a wise idea?

thanks for your help so far folks! Shaun
Barking Mad
QUOTE (kingjohn @ Sat, 30 Dec 2006 - 12:19) *
You admitted to going through on amber, as far as I can see you have incriminated yourself. Crossing on amber is an offence.


Sorry, King John.... You are dishing out very bad advice to this lad. Your claim that crossing on amber is an offence is frankly complete bollocks!

The lights have to change to red.

Red means stop!

Amber means *warning* the lights are about to change to red when you must stop; (whilst amber) you should stop if you can but only if safe and prudent to do so.

I don't wish to upset you, King John - but when you approach the STOP LINE with the lights on green, if what you have said were true, even @ 30mph (travelling @ 44 feet per second) EVERYONE would commit an offence if closer to the lights than 20 feet at that speed - simply because the driver's brain would not be able to give the instruction to come off the throttle and onto the brake - let along the time and distance it would take to stop as an emergency, everytime!!!!

And for the record, if the lights were still amber and the front of the OP's car had passed the stop line by just an inch at the instant it turned red, then he would be perfectly legally entitled to carry on across any junction.

This is typical arsehole copper seeing kid in car and wanting an easy nick. Having progressed, presumably from nicking women with laser giuns doing Thursday afternoon's shopping leaving Tesco's car park @ 36 mph!!!!!

Too much perverting the course of justice to annoy ordinary people, I think, if what the OP said was entirely true.

MOT - Make the lying bastard prove it!
kingjohn
Barking Mad - I said that there will be others who will give advice. So far those worth listening to are Nimh999 and G atrill, you are wrong.

Sorry but what you said about amber lights is bad advice. Here is the Highway Code on the matter:

http://www.highwaycode.gov.uk/signs01.htm

The key thing is that amber means stop. The fact that most drivers ignore it doesn't mean it's not an offence (bit like unrealistic speed limits, what do you think?).

I do not claim to be an expert, Mot, but there are certain things that are absolute black and white. I'm afraid this is one of them.

I wish you all the best however.

John
ChoccieMuffin
Kingjohn, here's the relevant bit from the Highway Code about amber lights:
"AMBER means 'Stop' at the stopline. You may go on only if the AMBER appears after you have crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to pull up might cause an accident".
So from what MOT said, he MAY go on as to stop would have caused an accident, therefore he did not commit an offence.
Difficulty is of course proving it.

OP, did you get any details or have any recollection of the other cars that you said crossed the stop line after you (and before the police car).

Secondly, I would sit tight, you may find that the officer doesn't bother doing anything further with your incident so you'll have to bite your nails waiting to see if you do actually get a summons. It wouldn't surprise me if the officer in question does nothing further, just hoping that his little "chat" will have scared you into stopping for amber lights.

Can anyone point us towards the relevant bit of the Road Traffic Act that says specifically how Amber lights are treated? I know the Highway Code is supposed to summarise it up in language we can all understand but a judge would be working to "the law" so extracts from Highway Code could well end up being a red herring. Ta.
Mot
ChoccieMuffin - i'm afraid i didnt other than that it was a white car. I'd like to know why the copper decided to pull me and not the car in front, i do attract some attention with me being quite young driving a V6 golf, usually coppers just ask me for insurance documents and how i afford such a car (i got a good insurance deal)

this as someone has already said, was "one of those" coppers.

Choccie', so you suggest i take my documents to my local station as i have to by law, but not return the FPN stating that i would like it to go to court? or do i still return that?

thanks for your time helping me with this, I've not gone through any of this before so all advise will be taken on board smile.gif
kingjohn
Setting aside the details of the offence for now, yes you should produce your docs. If you want to fight this then just ignore the FPN and see what happens.

Have a read of this forum whilst you're waiting - you'll learn a lot, I did.

John
ChoccieMuffin
Read the words (every single one) on the bit of paper you've been given. There will probably be reference to some offence or other requiring you to produce your documents, so do indeed do that. I think others have said something about not actually handing over the piece of paper you received (in case there was anything incorrect about it) but I could be wrong about that one. In any case, do take a colour photocopy of it, and perhaps just take in the photocopy when you produce rather than the original. As I said, just in case.

Another useful suggestion I've read on here is that while the incident is fresh in your mind, write very detailed notes of what happened.
EXACTLY what time it happened. How the road was, dual or single carriageway, bends etc. Draw sketches. Make a note of weather and road conditions. How close to you the car behind was doing. What speed you were doing, and the car behind. How far you went before you were stopped. Any other detail you can think of, whether you think it's relevant or not. If you cover several pages, that's fine. Make a note of EXACTLY what you can remember about the conversation with Mr Plod. Don't get emotional in your recollection, try to be as honest to yourself as you possibly can be. Get your friend who was in the car with you to do the same, independently.

These notes are for YOU, not to be sent to anyone else, certainly not at this stage. But it's good to get it all down when it's fresh in your mind in case you are required to give any evidence. If you can show that you made notes very close to the time of the incident then the mag will be more likely to believe them.

As for what I'd advise, I'd advise you to take advice from people on here who have much more knowledge than me, I'm only on here because of my first ever NIP for speeding just a little while ago so I'm no expert!
peterb
QUOTE (ChoccieMuffin @ Sat, 30 Dec 2006 - 19:45) *
Kingjohn, here's the relevant bit from the Highway Code about amber lights:
"AMBER means 'Stop' at the stopline. You may go on only if the AMBER appears after you have crossed the stop line or are so close to it that to pull up might cause an accident".
So from what MOT said, he MAY go on as to stop would have caused an accident, therefore he did not commit an offence.

Interesting.

So if there is no car behind, everyone should do an Emergency/Abrupt Stop on Amber.
I must admit, in all my years of driving I haven't seen cars doing emergency stop on Amber.

The fact is if you are travelling at speed close to lights, when lights go to Amber you cannot
possibly check whether "you might cause an accident" in that split second, as that would be
dangerous itself.

peterb
V70
it is not hard what part of "stop"! have you missunderstud, .......pay up!
g_attrill
QUOTE (Mot @ Sat, 30 Dec 2006 - 16:47) *
g_attrill - the light was actually changing as i crossed the line, with other cars behind me (which DID follow through) i wouldn't have wanted to break and stop for them and maybe cause an accident. Would saying that be any use in court? I've never represented myself in court, i imagine it's going to be rather daunting sad.gif


Do you mean the lights changed from amber to red as you crossed? If so then you have a problem, because the officers are likely to say that "from our position, the lights appeared to change to red before the vehicle crossed" and you will have a problem challenging this, you would have to show that they didn't have a clear view of your vehicle and the lines and were mistaken.

The fact that another vehicle behind crossed is not relevant, because they decided to deal with you first, and they cannot deal with two at once.

Gareth
hortz
It may just be me, but I think the OP has a lot more cause for optimism than some people are making out on here.

The law is that when a light turns to amber you should stop unless you have already passed or are so close that to go through may cause an accident. I would say that if both you and your friend can take the witness stand and swear on oath that the light was on amber at the point you crossed and that the car behind also followed you through (hence if you had stopped suddenly there was obviously a risk of an accident) then you should be okay. Quote the stopping distance at 30mph in the highway code which is 23 metres, or roughly 6 car lengths.

The only evidence they have is one officer's testimony. If you can discredit him enough (i.e. establishing that he was 2/3 cars behind and couldn't have had a clear view) I would suggest that a reasonable court would have to find you not guilty. There is no photographic evidence of you going through the light, so their case is based upon the judgement of one man of an incident he did not have a clear view of. If you and your friend can both swear on oath that the light was on amber at the point you crossed, no offence has been committed.

I think you should fight this one and can win it with two witnesses against one. I believe with the above circumstances and evidence, it would be very difficult for them to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the light was on red when you crossed it. And owing to the circumstances (car close behind which also went through), crossing on amber would not be an offence. I would not be amazed if it was dropped prior to court proceedings due to lack of evidence. It may be just a try on by some bored little Hitler wannabee who hasn't hit his targets for the month.

Disclaimer: all this assumes a fair and reasonable hearing in court. Magistrates are noted for their inherent bias towards police witnesses.
crystal
Hi,

Are there CCTV cameras on those lights ? it might help

Regards
Crystal
ChoccieMuffin
...and if you're lucky, you won't hear ANYTHING more about it so it won't go anywhere near a court and you won't HAVE to defend yourself as they won't make a case against you.
kingjohn
QUOTE (ChoccieMuffin @ Sun, 31 Dec 2006 - 13:23) *
...and if you're lucky, you won't hear ANYTHING more about it so it won't go anywhere near a court and you won't HAVE to defend yourself as they won't make a case against you.


Let's hope so, as others have said it could just be a bad copper on a power trip/who's had a bad day type situation.
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