Hello, I am a solicitor with 20 years experience. I will try to answer this.
Are you able to work out from the NIP whether it was you driving or not? I think so from what you are saying? If you did cross the flashing red lights then you have very likely contravened the signals and the fact that you did it safely is not really helpful, it is effectively a strict liablility situation.
Admitting that you were concentrating on your sat nav (rather than the road) may not be a good idea but you should explain about it being an unfamiliar area and that although you crossed the signals (if you did) inthe circumstances you were through the crossing safely. You should apologise and make it clear that you have never done this before (assuming this is true) and will be more careful in future.
Hi, yes it was me driving. I find it difficult to recall the situation because I do not know the area, but have always paid good attention to the road despite driving in new areas. Could I have received this notice of offence if the light was on amber also?
Would there be any likely way to avoid points on my licence also?
I doubt it. You could ask for a copy of the photo to be sent to you but make it clear that you are not denying the allegation but just want to check that things are right before responding. 3 points for jumping the signal is almost inevitable.
Could asking for a copy of the photo increase the penalty in any way? How would I go about this also, should I ask in the written statement or contact by other means? I'm also slightly concerned about the length of time before returning this NIP form.
Yes it could increase the financial penalty but not the level of points.
So should I include that:I was in an unfamiliar areaI would never knowingly put anyone else or myself in harms wayThat I felt that I safely crossed the level crossingIs there anything else that I could mention that could help me or is it a very rigid law?When you say increase the financial penalty, do you have any idea in what region the penalty would be currently?
That all seems fine. They will send you the summons next once you have confirmed that you are the driver. If you are in doubt about ignoring the signal make this clear and ask for the photo. The extra costs becoem anissue if, when y get the summon syu do not plead guilty by post immediately.