Traffic Light Offences | Running A Red Light
If you have been caught running a red light then one of our traffic light offence solicitors may be able to help
Driving through a Traffic Light Signal is classed as a Motoring Offence, unless the traffic signal is green and it is clear and safe to proceed. When driving a vehicle, it is the duty and responsibility of the driver to comply with all traffic light signals during the journey. It is not a defence to simply state that the driver proceeded through an amber traffic signal and not a red traffic signal, driving through an amber traffic signal can still amount to a Traffic Light Offence. If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) for a traffic signal contravention, please call our Specialist Driving Offence Solicitors on 0345 222 9955 for a No Obligation Call with one of our motoring offence Solicitors or Barristers.
Regulations for a Traffic Light Offence
The legislation that governs Traffic Light Offences is the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002.
Regulation 36(1)(a) of The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 states:
“…the red signal shall convey the prohibition that vehicular traffic shall not proceed beyond the stop line”
Regulation 36(1)(e) of The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 states:
“the amber signal shall, when shown alone, convey the same prohibition as the red signal, except that, as respects 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 or green arrow signal which was shown immediately before it”
Due to Regulation 36(1)(e) a motorist can still face a driving offence prosecution for driving through an amber traffic signal.
Sentence for Running a Red Light
A motorist that pleads guilty to running a red or amber traffic light or a motorist found guilty following Trial will receive an endorsement of 3 Penalty Points and a Court Fine of up to £1,000.00.
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Caught Running a Red Light
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Road Traffic Signals
Red traffic lights: The vehicle must stop just behind the white stop line at traffic light.
Red and amber traffic lights: This also means stop but can prepare to go. The vehicle must not pass through the lights until the green light is illuminated.
Green traffic light: When the light turns green, you may proceed, providing the way is clear.
Amber traffic light: When a single amber light is illuminated, you must prepare to stop just before the first white line. You may only proceed through an amber light if you have just crossed the stop line as it changes or are too close to the stop line that stopping may cause an accident.
Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP)
If a vehicle has been detected committing a Traffic Light Offence, the Registered Keeper will receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution from the Police within 14 days and will also be required to provide the details of the person driving the vehicle at the relevant time. If the registered keeper does not complete and return the request for driver details to the Police within 28 days, the registered keeper of the vehicle could be prosecuted for Failing to Provide Driver Details, which is an offence that attracts an endorsement of 6 Penalty Points.
Failing to stop at a road traffic signal is a strict liability offence, therefore unintentionally driving through a red ( running a red light ) or amber traffic signal would not amount to a defence.
In a traffic signal contravention offence, a defence would usually relate to an outright denial, i.e. disputing the allegation by demonstrating that as the driver you did comply with the traffic signal or identifying that there was a defect with the traffic signal.
Special Reasons For Running a Red Light
A motorist may accept that they are guilty of this offence however may raise Special Reasons.
For a Special Reasons Argument to be accepted by the Court, the circumstances relied upon need to satisfy the criteria below:
- Must be a mitigating or extenuating circumstance
- Must not amount in law to a defence to the allegation
- Must be directly connected with the commission of the offence
- Must be something which the Court ought to properly take into consideration when imposing sentence.
A typical ‘Special Reason’ in a Traffic Light Offence could be that the driver did not stop at the traffic light was to prevent a serious accident or loss of life. Another Special Reason could be that the motorist went through a red traffic signal to allow an emergency vehicle past. If Special Reasons are accepted by the Court, the Court will have discretion not to impose any penalty points for this Motoring Offence.
If you are considering raising Special Reasons, you will require expert legal representation at the Magistrates’ Court to stand a reasonable chance of being successful because evidence will need to be adduced in Court, along with appropriate legal submissions to the Court of why Special reasons are present and why the Court ought not to impose penalty points.
If you already have 9 or more active penalty points upon your driving licence, an additional 3 points for a Traffic Light Offence will result in a Totting Up Driving Ban which is also referred to as a Penalty Points Disqualification, because you will have accumulated 12 or more penalty points upon your driving licence.
In such circumstances, expert legal advice should be sought as soon as possible from one of our motoring offence solicitors by calling 0345 222 9955, alternatively you can complete our Contact Form and one of our solicitors will call you back to provide Free Telephone Legal Advice.
Exceptional Hardship Application
If you are at risk of receiving a Penalty Points Driving Ban, our lawyers are available to represent you in Court and to advance an Exceptional Hardship Application on your behalf in an attempt to avoid a Driving Ban.
An exceptional hardship application must be made in Court, which can be a difficult and frightening experience for people who are not familiar with the Courts or Criminal Justice System.
The precise procedure for an exceptional hardship application varies between each Court. In some Courts, a defendant may be required to take an oath and give live oral evidence before the Magistrates’ or District Judge of his / her circumstances. This evidence of the defendant is usually cross-examined by the Prosecutor, Magistrates or Judge to determine exactly how ‘exceptional’ the hardship really is.
At Kang & Co Solicitors, we have a wealth of experience in this area and this is proven within our success rates in assisting drivers in avoiding driving disqualifications. Our motoring lawyers have the appropriate knowledge of the various exceptional hardship arguments that can be put before the Court forward and can also advise you on the necessary evidence to support and strengthen the Exceptional Hardship Argument.
What amounts to Exceptional Hardship varies depending on personal circumstances. However, the following are some arguments which have been used to persuade the Court:
- Impact on family members
- Personal/financial implications
- Impact on business
- Inability to care for elderly / disabled individuals
- Loss of employment
- Impact on employees
Why Kang & Co Solicitors?
We are a Specialist National Driving Offence Law Firm that guarantees all clients that only qualified Solicitors and Barristers will work on your case. As a Specialist Driving Offence law firm, we are recognised as a Best Rated Driving Offence Law Firm and our lawyers frequently receive positive feedback from clients on Google Reviews, Yell and Trustpilot.
“I called a few other firms before contacting Kang & Co Solicitors and the impression I got was that the other lawyers just wanted to progress my case to trial, which would have cost me several thousands in legal fees. I then called Kang & Co Solicitors and spoke with one of their lawyers on the phone, he explained everything in plain English. He explained to me why a trial wasn’t the best course of action to take in my case, due to several issues in my case, he provided me with honest and genuine advice which made sense. I then instructed Kang & Co to represent me at Court and I still received an excellent result without having to spend thousands of pounds on a trial. I appreciate the honest advice from this firm and their excellent client care throughout my case, I would certainly recommend this company to friends and family members looking for an honest and genuine Criminal Defence Lawyer in Birmingham. Thanks for your help.” – M. Thompson
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