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Hi everyone just new here, I just wanted to ask peoples advise on a current issue.

I went through a red light by mistake and was stopped by an unmarked police car. I knew the lights were there and I knew they were on red as the traffic had stopped. My lane (on a large roundabout) was clear up to the lights and I was preparing to stop. My left hand lane had two articulated lorries waiting at the lights and the traffic was waiting to join from the left. When I got to the stop line, just before stopping I glanced up at the lights opposite (those near the stop line were not visible due to the lorry) and saw the amber come on. So I continued as the light were just changing to green but was then stopped by the officer waiting at the adjacent lights, I had no idea why.
He was pretty uninterested in what I had to say 'guilty until proven innocent' attitude. He issued me with a fixed penalty.

I revisited the scene to find out how this could have happened, I realised you could see the traffic light for the ADJACENT junction clearly visible from my direction in the centre lane, it was these lights I had seen turn amber.

I am extremely annoyed as this was a totally unintentional act, I appreciate I cannot claim I didnt do it but should I plead my case in court? or bend over and take it without blubbing?
Yes, very bad luck, lights on roundabouts can be very confusing like that, one local to me was altered about five times because people kept making similar mistakes. However, you have no viable defence to the charge and the fixed penalty is the best you are going to get.
QUOTE (Equiem @ Fri, 14 Jan 2011 - 14:54) *
I am extremely annoyed as this was a totally unintentional act, I appreciate I cannot claim I didnt do it but should I plead my case in court? or bend over and take it without blubbing?

Unfortunately there is no intent required to commit the offence. If having established your mistake you agree that the offence was committed it is unlikely to change anything at court, other than running the risk of an increased fine, costs and a victim surcharge for your troubles.
Basically, wot Pancras and Logician said.

I'd add that it was your bad luck it wasn't a camera detected "offence", as you'd likely have been offered a TLAS (assuming you've not attended a TLAS in the 3 years prior to the alleged offence - more recently attending other flavours of courses wouldn't prejudice your qualification).

Assuming a Traffic Light Awareness Scheme/Course is on offer in your locale, perhaps there is some way to persuade Bibby to offer you the option of attending one? I wouldn't hold out much hope, given you've been handed the fixed penalty ticket already.
OK thanks for the advice guys.

It looks like another great day for the British justice system.

As usual the real problems are ignored and the war on the motorist goes on.
The Rookie
I'm not sure I'm in 100% agreement, there exists the 'special reasons not to endorse' route for just such incidents, that is you are guilty of an offence but that reasons exists such that you shouldn't be punished for it. If a reasonable person with your view would have believed their lights were changing then claelry justice is not served by punishing you for the council/HA's negligent placing of the lights.

A photo speaks a thousand words, can you get a photo of the line of site you would have had?


This is a shot from google maps which shows the approach to the lights. The left hand lane had two large artics in, my lane, the centre was empty as was the right hand lane.

The two light close to the stop line were not visible, the only one I saw was the one on the outside of the roundabout. you can just see it close to the right hand light near the stop line. It looks a lot further in the pic than it really is.

Here is a close up of the two lights on the same pole taken from the centre lane under the bridge. At the time both of these lights were on red, when I looked up I saw the amber come on and thats why I continued without stopping. It was 8:45 and rush hour and a snap decision. All the time I was approaching the light the traffic was stationary which reinforced my belief the lights could change to green at any time.

Any comments are welcome.
I know the junction well - Portrack Interchange under the A19. I see people jumping the lights there all the time, along with not getting into the right lane and cutting from one lane to the other because they can't follow the lines.

Although the picture shows two sets of lights on one pole they are angled to face significantly different directions, and I would struggle to see how one set can get mixed up with the other to be honest.

I take it that you are saying that you mistook the lights controlling the off-slip from the A19 south as being the one that you should have seen having come from Portrack Lane?
In the cold light of day its always going to look less confusing, but when I looked up on the morning all I saw was the amber come on where I was expecting to see it.

Been looking at the position of every traffic light today! and most of the time you ARE looking at them from at a very similar angle when close to the stop line, just an observation.

I have been back there today and the traffic light looks about 20 feet away, the pic makes it look like 50 years.

Its been suggested to me the the fixed penalty notice is meant to accept your mitigating factors on the day and offer a reduced penalty for pleading guilty on the spot!
QUOTE (Equiem @ Sun, 16 Jan 2011 - 16:04) *
Its been suggested to me the the fixed penalty notice is meant to accept your mitigating factors on the day and offer a reduced penalty for pleading guilty on the spot!

Eh? The point about a fixed penalty is that it is, how can I put it? - FIXED. Whatever the mitigating or indeed aggravating features that might have existed, you are offered a penalty usually substantially lower than you would get in court for short-cutting the process.

It is your decision and your time and money at risk, but I would be amazed if any court agreed there were special reasons for not endorsing your licence on the basis that you were confused by the lights.
The Rookie
Whilst that is not the intent of the FP, it is its effect, going to court and offering the best mitigation available will see you suffer a harsher penalty (the reward for not fighting the system).

The only way you get a lower penalty is an aquittal or through special reasons.

The lights are not well layed out and if there was only one set of lights on that stantion I think you would have a chance with SR, the trouble is there are 2 sets of lights and presumably 'your set' stayed red, that doesn't rule out SR, but I'd give you no better than a 50/50 chance, probably slightly less, maybe a video at rush hour showing X drivers confused by the same thing would help, if they were......

Having looked at the previous posts and the pics I can see no prospect whatsoever of a court finding special reasons especially if this is an area that you know. I would pay the FP.
It should be noted that there are 4 traffic lights controlling the three lanes (I appreciate you said there are large vehicles on either side of you). The only one which is angled is the farthest one which is enlarged in the second picture.

I doubt that the court will show you any sympathy for that reason alone, despite you perhaps having a moral argument.
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