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CraigS
NIP Details and Circumstances
What is the name of the Constabulary? -
Date of the offence: - April 2013
Date of the NIP: - 40 days after the offence
Date you received the NIP: - 41 days after the offence
Location of offence (exact location as it appears on the NIP: important): - Highams Park Level Crossing, Larkshall Road, Highams Park, London
Was the NIP addressed to you? - Yes
Was the NIP sent by first class post, second class or recorded delivery? - First
If your are not the Registered Keeper, what is your relationship to the vehicle? - Step fathers vehicle
How many current points do you have? - 0
Provide a description of events (if you know what happened) telling us as much about the incident as possible - some things that may seem trivial to you may be important, so don't leave anything out. Please do not post personal details for obvious reasons -

We initially received a NIP form addressed to my step father who named the driver (myself) and sent it back. Today I received another NIP form addressed to myself.

On the day of the alleged "offence" I recall seeing the British Transport Police camera van parked on the side of the road monitoring the level crossing. I went through the level crossing after the barriers had risen and the red lights had stopped flashing. I was about 5 or 6 cars back in the que.

As far as I am concerned I did nothing wrong at all. Neither the red or amber lights were flashing and I drove over it safely however the car in front of me decided to stop suddenly (when it was clear ahead of them) and give way to cars waiting to turn into a side road. (I was unable to predict this)

All that could have possibly happened was the back of the car I was driving was in the yellow box junction - again I believe I have done nothing wrong as I entered the box junction when the road was clear ahead.

The form states that I was alleged to have committed an offence contrary to one or more of the following offences under the road traffic act 1988:-
C) failing to comply with the traffic signal/signs

Also the NIP form says

Operators name.....
Force number.....
Signature....

And none of these have been filled out or signed by anyone.

Any advice on this would be greatly appreciated as I am not sure what to do!

Thanks in advance.


NIP Wizard Responses
These were the responses used by the Wizard to arrive at its recommendation:
Have you received a NIP? - Yes
Are you the Registered Keeper of the vehicle concerned (is your name and address on the V5/V5C)? - No
Is the NIP addressed to you personally? - Yes
Although you are not the Registered Keeper, were you the keeper of the vehicle concerned (the person normally responsible for it) at the time of the alleged offence? - No
As you were not responsible for the vehicle, somebody else has named you as the driver. Were you driving? - Yes
Which country did the alleged offence take place in? - England

NIP Wizard Recommendation
Based on these responses the Wizard suggested that this course of action should be considered:
  • The law requires you to provide the information requested in the Section 172 notice within the 28 day period, naming yourself as the driver. If you are considering obtaining formal legal advice, do so before returning the notice.

    You should note that there is nothing to be gained by responding any earlier than you have to at any stage of the process. You are likely to receive a Conditional Offer of a Fixed Penalty (COFP) and further reminder(s). If you want to continue the fight, you should ignore all correspondence from the police until you receive a summons. You need to understand from the outset that while you will receive much help and support from members on the forums, you will need to put time and effort into fighting your case and ultimately be prepared to stand up in court to defend yourself.

Generated by the PePiPoo NIP Wizard v3.3.2: Tue, 14 May 2013 20:46:19 +0000
The Rookie
The boxes will usually be for the copy they keep and will usually say so on it.

From what you have said it sounds like you have a defence. You could write and ask for photo's to help confirm the drivers ID, just to see if they show anything.

BTP seem pretty boneheaded, you have to be prepared for the possibility of going to court to defend it!
sgtdixie
The only rider to what Rookie has said is that if there was a camera van there whatever is alleged is likely to be on video. Before you commit to a not guilty it may be worth ringing them up and asking exactly what you are suposed to have done. The offence the vast majority of BTP NIP's are sent out for is contravening the red lights. It would be a shame to opt for court if you are caught on video committing the offence.

Jlc
Was the 1st NIP issued within 14 days of the alleged offence?
mynamegoesinhere
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?
ukboxer
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 13:24) *
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?


I think he means the road was clear in front of the car ahead of him but that car stopped to give way to other cars. Rightly or wrongly, he moved into the box junction not expecting to stop as the road was clear ahead of the car in front.

But ofcourse I could be wrong smile.gif
StuartBu
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 13:24) *
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?


I was wondering that myself..I was thinking that OP meant his car was clear of the barriers ("again I believe I have done nothing wrong as I entered the box junction when the road was clear ahead.") and that the Yellow Box extended beyond the barriers but looking at GSV it seems the barriers are in align with the limits of the YB so you could be clear of the tracks but NOT clear of the barriers .

http://goo.gl/maps/b6iu3

I'm assuming this is the correct crossing .I couldn't see another on that road
mynamegoesinhere
QUOTE (ukboxer @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 14:02) *
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 13:24) *
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?


I think he means the road was clear in front of the car ahead of him but that car stopped to give way to other cars. Rightly or wrongly, he moved into the box junction not expecting to stop as the road was clear ahead of the car in front.

But ofcourse I could be wrong smile.gif


OK. As I understand it, you shouldn't enter a box junction until there is room the other side for your vehicle to clear it, so this could be a problem.
StuartBu
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 15:40) *
QUOTE (ukboxer @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 14:02) *
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 13:24) *
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?


I think he means the road was clear in front of the car ahead of him but that car stopped to give way to other cars. Rightly or wrongly, he moved into the box junction not expecting to stop as the road was clear ahead of the car in front.

But ofcourse I could be wrong smile.gif


OK. As I understand it, you shouldn't enter a box junction until there is room the other side for your vehicle to clear it, so this could be a problem.


Yeah ..that's the way I have always understood it as well....(even more important at a level crossing I'd have thought) there are regularly Yellow Box Etiquette posts in here so perhaps that aspect of their use is not so clear cut as we think .
The Rookie
The advice in the highway code is clear it is an offence to enter unless your exit is clear, if you exit was clear at the time of entry and then subsequantly blocked, then there is no offence.
QUOTE
You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear.


Statute reads slightly differently
QUOTE
Except when placed in the circumstances described in paragraph 8, the road markings shown in diagrams 1043 and 1044 shall each convey the prohibition that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles.

Which there are 2 ways of reading (to my mind)
1/ If you enter and are stopped by ANY stationary vehicles you commit the offence
2/ If you enter and are stopped by a vehicle that wasn't stationary when you entered you don't commit an offence

To my mind the thrust is that if the causing is when there is no stationary vehicle that will cause you to stop you commit no offence and this is supported by the wording in the HC.
Gan
How many of us wait for the car in front to completely clear a level crossing before we set off if we can see that it's clear ahead ?

The OP doesn't mention which direction he was traveling but if it was going west, vehicles turning right across his path have a Give Way.

If he was going East, whoever stopped suddenly would guarantee blocking the crossing - a moronic piece of driving

I'm having one of my rants but few things annoy me more than the confusion that results when somebody picks an inappropriate time to be polite and helpful
StuartBu
QUOTE (Gan @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 16:21) *
How many of us wait for the car in front to completely clear a level crossing before we set off if we can see that it's clear ahead ?

The OP doesn't mention which direction he was traveling but if it was going west, vehicles turning right across his path have a Give Way.

If he was going East, whoever stopped suddenly would guarantee blocking the crossing - a moronic piece of driving

I'm having one of my rants but few things annoy me more than the confusion that results when somebody picks an inappropriate time to be polite and helpful


Agreed. I have been in situations when turning in to a side road and some driver coming towards me on the road I am on decides to stop and either wave me round or flash his lights ...They might think they are helping but I don't see it that way ...incenses me no end !!
mynamegoesinhere
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 16:08) *
The advice in the highway code is clear it is an offence to enter unless your exit is clear, if you exit was clear at the time of entry and then subsequantly blocked, then there is no offence.
QUOTE
You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear.


How could it be subsequently blocked, unless the driver in front reversed?
CraigS
Thanks for all the replys! I'm so confused as I'm not sure if I was even in the yellow box!

Even if I was, how can they say I failed to comply with traffic signal/signs when there is not any signs regarding the yellow box??

QUOTE (ukboxer @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 14:02) *
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 13:24) *
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?


I think he means the road was clear in front of the car ahead of him but that car stopped to give way to other cars. Rightly or wrongly, he moved into the box junction not expecting to stop as the road was clear ahead of the car in front.

But ofcourse I could be wrong smile.gif



Yes that is correct smile.gif

QUOTE (StuartBu @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 14:08) *
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 13:24) *
I'm a little confused. If you entered the box junction when your exit from it was clear, how can you possibly have stopped still partially in the box junction?


I was wondering that myself..I was thinking that OP meant his car was clear of the barriers ("again I believe I have done nothing wrong as I entered the box junction when the road was clear ahead.") and that the Yellow Box extended beyond the barriers but looking at GSV it seems the barriers are in align with the limits of the YB so you could be clear of the tracks but NOT clear of the barriers .

http://goo.gl/maps/b6iu3

I'm assuming this is the correct crossing .I couldn't see another on that road


That is indeed the correct crossing. I was traveling in this direction http://goo.gl/maps/DGSQe

The car in front of me let a vehicle turn right (my left) into the second turning as shown on google maps.

I have been back to the location since and there is only a sign saying stop when lights flash red.
Gan
Unless he stopped well short of the second junction you would have been past the yellow box with space for another car behind.

There appears to be a big mismatch between the Highway Code and the legislation (Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002)

The Highway Code, I assume for simplicity, says that you mustn't enter the box until your exit is clear

My reading of the TSRGD is that you mustn't enter if you have to stop because of stationary vehicles.
As it clearly wasn't stationary when you entered, there was no offence
StuartBu
QUOTE (Gan @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 20:28) *
Unless he stopped well short of the second junction you would have been past the yellow box with space for another car behind.

There appears to be a big mismatch between the Highway Code and the legislation (Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002)

The Highway Code, I assume for simplicity, says that you mustn't enter the box until your exit is clear

My reading of the TSRGD is that you mustn't enter if you have to stop because of stationary vehicles.
As it clearly wasn't stationary when you entered, there was no offence

But is the HC wording not the more sensible of the two although probably most folk just look past the car immediately in front to see if it is likely to get held up.....
Gan
The HC is better at explaining what the legislation is trying to achieve - making sure that the box doesn't become blocked

The legislation looks more like the offence is failing to respond to the symptom that the exit isn't clear - otherwise the vehicle wouldn't be stationary

Where the HC, in my view, results in confusion is the interpretation of clear.
The exit was perfectly clear for the line of vehicles to pass through the box. The drivers could see this.

It was only blocked after entering because a driver who had the space and priority to proceed chose to block it.

According to the Highway Code we shouldn't go forward on Green unless we can clear the junction safely but we don't hang back in case the driver in front stops to wave a pedestrian across
StuartBu
QUOTE (Gan @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 22:34) *
The HC is better at explaining what the legislation is trying to achieve - making sure that the box doesn't become blocked

The legislation looks more like the offence is failing to respond to the symptom that the exit isn't clear - otherwise the vehicle wouldn't be stationary

Where the HC, in my view, results in confusion is the interpretation of clear.
The exit was perfectly clear for the line of vehicles to pass through the box. The drivers could see this.

It was only blocked after entering because a driver who had the space and priority to proceed chose to block it.

According to the Highway Code we shouldn't go forward on Green unless we can clear the junction safely but we don't hang back in case the driver in front stops to wave a pedestrian across


Good point .
The Rookie
QUOTE (mynamegoesinhere @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 16:56) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Wed, 15 May 2013 - 16:08) *
The advice in the highway code is clear it is an offence to enter unless your exit is clear, if you exit was clear at the time of entry and then subsequantly blocked, then there is no offence.
QUOTE
You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear.


How could it be subsequently blocked, unless the driver in front reversed?

By the driver in front stopping when he could progress - obvious really....exit clear when entering box, then blocked by a car stopping before he has to.
sgtdixie
The HC is simply advice not law, however courts have used it as the benchmark for the standard drivers should adopt for many years.
The Rookie
Which is why I quoted the parent statute.....

As pointed out it can be read in 2 ways, the HC (which is passed by parliament before publication AIUI) supports one of those views and as such would be 'pursuasive' I would expect in supporting that interpretation.
southpaw82
I believe there have been several adjudications for PCNs where the HC interpretation was not preferred, so perhaps there is some hope.
The Rookie
??? The HC version is the better one of the two!
southpaw82
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Thu, 16 May 2013 - 18:05) *
??? The HC version is the better one of the two!


Whichever way round. It's been a while and the laptop I had the cases on has gone on the fritz. Suffice to say there is some support in the OP's favour from traffic penalty adjudicators.
The Rookie
I'll agree with that......One example I recall (can't quote) was somone crossing a YBJ when a car in the left lane pulled across and blocked the space they intended to use in the right lane but were at such an angle they still blocked the left lane as well, when that poster had entered the box his exit had been clear.
jdh
We have a similar YB on a level crossing here, if you're 2nd in line you need to know before you enter the YB whether the car in front is going to turn right or not because if they are and they have to wait for oncoming traffic then you may well find yourself stuck in the YB still while they wait to turn.
The Rookie
That should be a no right turn, after all I'm willing to bet very few indicate right in time for the person behind to stop before the YBJ/crossing, and if everyone waited for the car in front to clear before entering traffic would soon snarl up!

Forgetting the YBJ offence that could be ruddy dangerous!
Gan
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Fri, 17 May 2013 - 12:36) *
That should be a no right turn, after all I'm willing to bet very few indicate right in time for the person behind to stop before the YBJ/crossing, and if everyone waited for the car in front to clear before entering traffic would soon snarl up!

Forgetting the YBJ offence that could be ruddy dangerous!

If you then turn right yourself, did you still commit the offence or is only one right-turning vehicle allowed in the box at any time ?

If not, and you find yourself blocked in such a situation, it makes sense to switch on your indicator and follow it
roythebus
I suspect that under the Railways Act 1993 no person shall cause or permit a vhicle to block the railway. You could always look at the Level Crossings Act 1983 and the Level Crossing regulations1997.

If the OPs car fouled the barriers, then he would more than likely be found guilty of obstructing the railway.

This is where highway code, Road Traffic Act and Railways Act meet!
TonyS
Our level crossing is a bit prone to getting blocked as well. There are always a lot of parked vehicles on the right hand side as you leave the crossing heading West, and the road's not wide enough to permit two way traffic past the parked vehicles. Sometime people who've crossed the line heading W stop to allow E bound traffic to come through, that's difficult to foresee and can leave you suddenly stopped on the crossing which is not a comfortable position.

Tony S
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