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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Traffic Law
Satisfied Customers: 69370
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice.
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Good evening, I have received a letter of Notice of Intended

Customer Question

Good evening, I have received a letter of Notice of Intended Prosecution in accordance with section 1 of the road traffic offenders act 1988.

Alleged offence: Failing to conform with the indication given by a red traffic signal
At/ Place: Victoria embankment junction with temple avenue London e.c

I recall this night although I do not recall proceeding through a red light. This allegation has been supported by technical and photographic evidence of three images:

Image 1: vehicle registration mark (rear wheels within bicycle lane/box)
Image 2: 1.2 seconds after the traffic signal went to red (rear wheels just about the clear the bicycle lane/box)
Image 3: 1.3 seconds later (vehicle has cleared and has fully cleared the box)

(Photographic evidence of this offence are printed from the roll of the original film)

I was travelling at a constant speed of 30mph (speed limit) when the lights had turnt to amber and there was no oncoming or side traffic. Please note, there was a road closure for the Blackfriars underpass, which no pre-warning signs were apparent.

I believe that if I had stopped, my vehicle may have skidded, or may have resulted in a RTC with any vehicles travelling behind (bearing in mind they may have been travelling at the same speed). Am I liable? Can I pay a fine with a charity donation to the City of London Camera Enforcement Section and avoid receiving points on a discretionary decision?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Traffic Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Why do you think you would have skidded? Were you being tail gated ?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


travelling at 30mph without lowering my speed as the lights had changed to amber so suddenly


 


At the time I believe to have had a vehicle travelling to the side of me and in front as they seemed undeceive about the direction he will take due to the road closure, it was all a very rash decision by all drivers if anything

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


travelling at 30mph without lowering my speed as the lights had changed to amber so suddenly may have caused my vehicle to skid


 


At the time I believe to have had a vehicle travelling to the side of me and in front as they seemed undeceive about the direction he will take due to the road closure, it was all a very rash decision by all drivers if anything

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 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.

There is no defence in saying that you could not stop because you were travelling at 30mph I'm afraid. Unfortunately the law requires you to stop at red lights and therefore to travel at a speed that allows you to do so.

I'm afraid you cannot avoid points in exchange for a bigger fine. These are mandatory sentences set down by Parliament from which there cannot be derogation unless, of course, they offer the red light course.

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 3 years ago.


okay these circumstances make some sense, although 1.2 seconds after the traffic signal went to red with the vehicle still within the bicycle lane/box makes logical sense that it may have been unsafe to stop whilst travelling at 30mph?


 


To top this with the unexpected road closure which took me onto an unknown route.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I know what that underpass is like too.

Unfortunately they only have to show that you crossed the white line before the traffic lights or if the lines are broken crossed the posts of the traffic signs.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Okay Jo, so what are the likely chances that I can win this case if taken to court, with a sincere apology and the fact that I am applying for job roles within the RAF as well as a driving opportunity for the foreign common wealth office?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
You need to be careful about telling them that you are applying for certain roles. They should not make decisions on that basis anyway and if you get the wrong person they will take the view that its an aggravating feature as you should have known better. I have to say that I've never understood the merits of that view but there are people who do think like that.

Its possible that you could get the red light course. The City constabulary never used to offer it but they have done recently.

Its not a large number of seconds over the changing of the lights but that doesn't always deter them.

If you are prepared to risk going to court though then they might forget to summons you. That does happen sometimes.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Apologises if I am taking to much of your time...I am very willing to prove my innocence. I would 100% undergo the red light traffic course and will be willing to pay if needed to (avoiding tax payers money, if this is funded by)

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Its no problem.

All you have received is the request for the identity of the driver at this stage. They are just asking you to identify the driver.

They might well offer the red light awareness course.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Okay I understand the circumstances of the letter now. If in the near future I wish for yourself to represent my case, can I do so as after this advice you have given me, I may want to highly consider your representation (if possible), at the worst case scenario. I live in Greenwich and work in Knightsbridge just of Belgrave Sq.


 


or how can I contact you personally?


 


What does forget to summons indicate?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Sorry, I lost my internet connection.

I'm not allowed to accept instructions directly under the rules of this site but if you talk to either these chambers

www.1itl.com

or these chambers

www.5pumpcourt.com

They have specialist road traffic counsel that you can instruct under public access much cheaper than going through a solicitor.

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