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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Good Evening,I was recently

Resolved Question:

Good Evening, I was recently stopped for alledgedly contravening a red light. The lights were at roadworks on the left side of the carriageway, I had committed myself to the right to pass through and the lights turned to orange. At this point I would have had to brake hard and swerve to stop so carried on through in the full knowledge that I had a police car behind me. I was pulled over and asked why I went through on red and I replied that the light was orange. The officer issued me with a report paper saying it would go to court. There was no video footage on the police car. I drive a motability car so points are not an issue for me and neither is a fine but I cannot see how the officer can prove to a court how I went through a red light when I didn't?! I could take the easy way out and take a retraining course if offered or points and fine but if I was to plead guilty I would be committing perjury. Any advice would be helpful, many thanks Richard XXXXX

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Hi.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Sorry if I'm missing the point but you seem to accept going through on amber? What is your defence?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

My point was that it was not safe to stop on orange, I know that if it's not safe to stop then you proceed through.....lawfully. I don't dispute the orange, I disagree with officers version of it being red.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
Thanks for the information. I am sorry but its bad news.
The prohibition upon red light offences arises from S36 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 which you will find here
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/36
The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 36.1.(1).(e) which you will find here
http://www.ukroads.org/webfiles/TSRGD-2002.pdf
sets down that amber alone conveys the same prohibition as the red signal except that ‘as respect any vehicle which is so close to the stop line that it cannot safely be stopped without proceeding beyond the stop line, it shall convey the same indication as the green signal’.
So, in short, you must stop on amber unless doing so would be unsafe. Usually that has been interpreted to mean a vehicle being tailgated. You have to show that it was unsafe to stop to contest a red light offence upon amber.
On your substantive point, they haven’t brought the wrong charge. XXXXX XXXXXghts are prosecuted under S36 RTA 1988 as are reds. Its the same offence.
I'm sorry this isn't the answer you wanted but it is the position that you face and I have a duty to inform you truthfully.
Hope this helps. Please let me know if you need more information.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

I understand the law on orange lights but as I was committed to the right hand side of the road to pass the roadworks I deemed it unsafe to stop. I can understand that the law is as it is for conventional lights but for temporary lights where you need to go through on the wrong side of the road, I had to decide whether I could safely stop. I don't believe I could have.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I'm afraid I cannot agree that gives you a defence unless, of course, you had already moved out into the centre of the road
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69776
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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