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thebigman
Hi,

Just got pulled over by traffic cops for supposedly going through a red light (I'm 100% certain it was still amber) and got the pink slip with £100 fine and 3 penalty points.

I absolutely want to challenge this but is it worth fighting as I was alone in the car and there were 2 police officers that pulled me over. Also was I right to take the notice or should I have declined to take this?

Any help would be most welcome!

Many thanks.
Juliet1981
Well to answer your second question first; of course you were right to accept the "ticket" from the cops cos it gives you options. This "ticket" is a conditional offer of a fixed penalty, it means you can accept committing an offence & receive a slightly lighter fine without going to court or choose to go to Court. If you had just refused to take the "ticket" there & then the cops would have had no option but to summons you straight to Court. So having taken the "ticket" you have a bit more time to make a decision.

Now in response to the first part of your post, passing the stop line on Amber is exactly the same as if you passed it on red. You have still committed the offence by passing the stop line on Amber, however you will not be convicted of it if you can show that by not stopping would have been dangerous. Can you in all honesty say that to stop on Amber would have been a danger or did you just see amber & decide to "go for it" before it went to red!

Because if you decide that you don't want to accept the "ticket" that it is what you will need to answer before the Magistrates.
thebigman
Well I was driving at around 20mph and it was wet and rainy and if I breaked then my car would have been past the stop line so either way I'd have been pulled over no?
thebigman
If I don't accept this and wait till it goes to court am I looking at potentially a higher fine and more points?
peterguk
QUOTE (thebigman @ Fri, 3 Jan 2014 - 21:45) *
Well I was driving at around 20mph and it was wet and rainy and if I breaked then my car would have been past the stop line so either way I'd have been pulled over no?


Amber light is lit for 3 seconds. And you were approaching lights at 20mph and couldn't stop? wacko.gif
thebigman
I guess I could have but I know I would have been past the stop line if I did stop, so either way I would have been f*cked.
peterguk
Since you're get the same questions but harder if you take it to court..

What were you doing for the 3 seconds as you approached the lights? I'm trying to understand why you couldn't stop if you intended to from the outset. Or maybe you thought you'd make it until you realised at the last moment you were not going to....?

I'm trying to understand why you couldn't stop if you were travelling at a slow speed.

Logician
We have had countless people post here convinced that they went through on amber, only for the photographs to show conclusively that the lights were red when some part of their vehicle crossed the line. You have virtually no hope of convincing a court that two traffic officers were wrong and you were right. When you lose in court the points will be the same but the fine will be related to your income, there will be a surcharge and the costs will be possibly up to £620. Taking the fixed penalty is the pragmatic choice.
glasgow_bhoy
Were the traffic cops behind you, or did they see you from another angle?
thebigman
Thanks Logician, makes sense. Cops were behind me yeah
glasgow_bhoy
In which case its unlikely they would have had a restricted view of the lights from where you were. It would be very, very hard to fight.
Billybriggsy
QUOTE (thebigman @ Sat, 4 Jan 2014 - 01:06) *
Thanks Logician, makes sense. Cops were behind me yeah



Wouldn't the video camera in the traffic car show the incident and remove all doubt?

The Rookie
If it had one......many don't.
AFCNEAL
Someone else can do the math - but 20 mph and couldn't stop safely? Chronically slow reactions, pathetic brakes or bald tyres?

Given you would have slowed to 20 mph (probably) the plod would have noticed? Care to rethink the speed or did you accelerate through?
thebigman
20mph yeah but the lights are directly after a sharp right bend. If I leave paying the fine and accepting the 3 points, does the procurator fiscal not send you out another notice offering me to take the £100 fine and 3 points again before it goes to court?
The Rookie
Some do, some don't, rather a silly gamble in my opinion.
glasgow_bhoy
QUOTE (Billybriggsy @ Sat, 4 Jan 2014 - 15:52) *
QUOTE (thebigman @ Sat, 4 Jan 2014 - 01:06) *
Thanks Logician, makes sense. Cops were behind me yeah



Wouldn't the video camera in the traffic car show the incident and remove all doubt?

The odds of being done by a traffic car in Scotland are slim. Most tickets in town and city centres come via unmarked poverty spec Vauxhall Astra's, with no cameras.

The PF may offer a ticket by post bigman, but its not worth taking that risk IMO. Cos if they don't send it, you'd be on a summons to court with a bigger fine.
David_R
QUOTE (AFCNEAL @ Sat, 4 Jan 2014 - 16:06) *
Someone else can do the math - but 20 mph and couldn't stop safely? Chronically slow reactions, pathetic brakes or bald tyres?

20 MPH is 9m/s. Assuming a "safe" stop can be carried out at 0.25g (which is a moderate stop. 0.5g is a heavy stop. Most cars can achieve about 0.7g as a "panic" stop) this means the actual stop would take 16.2 meters.
Decent reaction time, including moving your foot to the brake and actually shoving it and achieving braking could be as long as 1 second, which is another 9 meters of travel.

The overall distance from lamp changing to amber, to a complete stop is hence 25.2 meters, or about 5 (largeish) car lengths.

Which means that if you were right at the point of no return, you would cross the stop line after 2.8 seconds, hence you would be (just) within the amber phase, and you'd have your statutory defence that it wasn't' safe to stop.

If you were further away than about 5 car lengths from the stop line when the lamp went amber, then you should have stopped.
The Rookie
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 13:07) *
Most cars can achieve about 0.7g as a "panic" stop).

Most cars can exceed that comfortable, 0.7G is pretty poor, in fact in the mid 1980's even moderately sporty cars were getting close to 1G, the best cars are getting close to 1.1G now and some of the very sporty ones even better that..
sgtdixie
From memory isn't the highway code stopping distance at 20 mph 40 feet.

20 mph is 35 feet per second, so 3 seconds (i.e. the amber phase) puts the OP at least 105 feet from the lights. I could stop a 44 ton lorry in less than that at 20 even in the rain.

Normally a defence to passing on amber is it was likely to cause danger to stop. Conventionally this will normally come about as a risk of being hit from behind. Given the car behind was a police car they are unlikely to agree. A court may also wonder why you had slowed to 20 mph yet were unable to stop.

David_R
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 13:28) *
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 13:07) *
Most cars can achieve about 0.7g as a "panic" stop).

Most cars can exceed that comfortable, 0.7G is pretty poor, in fact in the mid 1980's even moderately sporty cars were getting close to 1G, the best cars are getting close to 1.1G now and some of the very sporty ones even better that..

I was being kind... damp surface, "ditchfinder" tyres etc.etc. Yes, it's possible to achieve greater than 1g braking with decent tyres on a dry road, but a 1g stop is really rather uncomfortable. Even 0.5g will throw the passengers forward against their belts rather hard, which you wouldn't really expect to do for a set of lights.
The Rookie
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 14:00) *
which you wouldn't really expect to do for a set of lights.

Correct, you should approach at the right speed and would have plenty of time to stop in the distance provided by the 3 second amber (or stop anyway).......otherwise you will need to use more than 0.5G at times to comply with the law!
Steve Hidin
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 14:17) *
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 14:00) *
which you wouldn't really expect to do for a set of lights.

Correct, you should approach at the right speed and would have plenty of time to stop in the distance provided by the 3 second amber (or stop anyway).......otherwise you will need to use more than 0.5G at times to comply with the law!

I just did the maths, as I am constantly tailgated on the approach to local lights on 50/60 roads round here, just at 50, to hit zero in 3 secs requires a dashboard chewing .76g (Assuming zero reaction time). Wonder if it is any coincidence one of these sets was deemed to need a camera?

For those interested, 60-0 in 3sec is .91g
David_R
QUOTE (Steve Hidin @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 15:17) *
QUOTE (The Rookie @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 14:17) *
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 14:00) *
which you wouldn't really expect to do for a set of lights.

Correct, you should approach at the right speed and would have plenty of time to stop in the distance provided by the 3 second amber (or stop anyway).......otherwise you will need to use more than 0.5G at times to comply with the law!

I just did the maths, as I am constantly tailgated on the approach to local lights on 50/60 roads round here, just at 50, to hit zero in 3 secs requires a dashboard chewing .76g (Assuming zero reaction time). Wonder if it is any coincidence one of these sets was deemed to need a camera?

For those interested, 60-0 in 3sec is .91g


... and under those circumstances you wouldn't stop. If you were close enough to the lights that to stop would need 0.76g, you keep going.
sgtdixie
Highway code stopping distance at 60 is 240 ft. 3 second at 60 mph is 270 feet. Given highway code stopping distances are generally regarded as very conservative and on the generous side I don't see the problem.
David_R
QUOTE (sgtdixie @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 15:40) *
Highway code stopping distance at 60 is 240 ft.

For comparison:
73 meters (240 ft) to go from 60 to 0 is actually bang-on 0.5g, which means the Highway code is very conservative. A genuine emergency stop will be nearly half that.
The Rookie
QUOTE (Steve Hidin @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 15:17) *
I just did the maths, as I am constantly tailgated on the approach to local lights on 50/60 roads round here, just at 50, to hit zero in 3 secs requires a dashboard chewing .76g (Assuming zero reaction time). Wonder if it is any coincidence one of these sets was deemed to need a camera?

For those interested, 60-0 in 3sec is .91g

Try again, you can take 4 or 5 seconds to stop as long as you stop in the distance available, so your maths is I'm afraid meaningless.....
Steve Hidin
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 15:24) *
... and under those circumstances you wouldn't stop. If you were close enough to the lights that to stop would need 0.76g, you keep going.

Nope, thats 50-0 in 3 seconds, the amber period. No reaction time, instant, constant deceleration from the moment amber flicks on until the moment it turns red. It is also based on maximum braking time, not maximum braking effort or any particular distance. Keep going and the good sgt above and below may well ticket you for running it, brake that hard and it may be a careless ticket instead (I have known traffic plod that ruthless). Personally I think traffic lights on such roads are a silly, even dangerous idea, roundabouts far better.
at 50 mph, in 3 secs you will cover 220 feet, leaving you still 20ft from the line when it turns red., at 60 you will cover 264ft, still short of the line according to the braking distances supplied which if I recall correctly are a) emergency full effect baking, and b) incorporate an element of reaction time of 1 sec. So the highway code would appear to say you can/should stop, even from 60mph.

So you can stop short of the line from the limit in the allotted time, but it may not be comfortable, and maintaining speed will likely put you crossing the line on red. Exactly why I approach those local high speed lights at somewhat less than the posted limit.
David_R
QUOTE (Steve Hidin @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 16:12) *
QUOTE (David_R @ Mon, 6 Jan 2014 - 15:24) *
... and under those circumstances you wouldn't stop. If you were close enough to the lights that to stop would need 0.76g, you keep going.

Nope, thats 50-0 in 3 seconds, the amber period. No reaction time, instant, constant deceleration from the moment amber flicks on until the moment it turns red. It is also based on maximum braking time, not maximum braking effort or any particular distance. Keep going and the good sgt above and below may well ticket you for running it, brake that hard and it may be a careless ticket instead (I have known traffic plod that ruthless). Personally I think traffic lights on such roads are a silly, even dangerous idea, roundabouts far better.
at 50 mph, in 3 secs you will cover 220 feet, leaving you still 20ft from the line when it turns red., at 60 you will cover 264ft, still short of the line according to the braking distances supplied which if I recall correctly are a) emergency full effect baking, and b) incorporate an element of reaction time of 1 sec. So the highway code would appear to say you can/should stop, even from 60mph.

So you can stop short of the line from the limit in the allotted time, but it may not be comfortable, and maintaining speed will likely put you crossing the line on red. Exactly why I approach those local high speed lights at somewhat less than the posted limit.


You're not making a massive amount of sense. To achieve 50-0 in 3 seconds is indeed 0.76g, but is achieved in 33 meters. If you are 33 meters away from the stop line at the moment the lamp turns to amber, and you keep going, you'll cross the stop line at 1.5 seconds of amber, which is no issue at all. I can't imagine anyone would be ticketed for going through after 1.5 seconds of amber, as to stop from that speed at that distance would be in excess of what the highway code expects.
thebigman
Was pulled over by traffic police for going through a red light 6 months ago. Wanted to fight this in court as it was an amber light I went through. Fast forward 6 months and the police turn up at my door to hand me paperwork (I wasn't at home) so they said they'd return later. They came back the next day (now outwith 6 months) and left a slip asking me to pick up the paperwork from the police station, I want to know if the time bar has kicked in and what the process is now?
Gan
How far outside six months and are you in Scotland ?
Jlc
The 6 months 'time bar' is in regards to laying particulars with a court - the actual summons can be issued after this date. Is this in Scotland?

Passing at amber is an offence. (Same as passing at red but with a statutory defence if you could not stop prior to the line during the amber phase)

QUOTE (Gan @ Fri, 4 Jul 2014 - 10:54) *
are you in Scotland ?

...which is my suspicion given the timely serving of the citation.
The Rookie
Given how often we have posters sure they passed on amber when the photo clearly shows them passing a red (and over 1/2 a second since it went red) I would suggest it's quite possible you are mistaken.

Besides why could you not stop safely when it was amber?
uk_mike
I have a suspicion that it may be Scotland as I believe that it is more normal to hand deliver citations in Scotland than it is in England and Wales

Even in Scotland citations can be served outwith the 6 months provided they were issued within the 6months and were served without undue delay. Caselaw in Scotland shows that the courts are lenient on the question of undue delay where the police are seen to be making a decent effort to get them served so I would not think a delay of 24 hours would be deemed to render the matter out of time.

But that like most responses can only be speculation based on the scant information in the original post, to give definitive advice we really need to know the following:

Did the alleged offence occur in England and Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland?
What was the precise date of the alleged offence?
What was the precise date that the citation/summons was served?
If in Scotland What is the date of issue for the citation?
If in England and Wales what is the "date of information" listed on the summons?
big_mac
Presumably this case
If so, yes, Scotland (and bang on 6 months)
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