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Caught running a red light

Caught running a red light

SKU: 8.07
  • Advice

    This term is used for failure to stop at the white stop line at a red traffic light, either on the road (including temporary lights at road works) or at a level crossing. Running an amber light carries the same penalty as running a red light, it is there to alert you to slow down. The only exception is if you are directed to go through one by a police or highways officer attending the scene of an accident etc, these are very rare.


    Potential defences and why they would not carry any weight.

    If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution for failing to comply with traffic signals, you may be wondering whether it is possible to defend the allegation.


    The main defences which can be used against a charge of failing to stop at a red traffic light include:

    • You went through an amber traffic light (technically the same offence anyway);
    • I ran the amber but it would have been unsafe to stop;
      • This has a possibility if you could not brake late because another vehicle/bicycle/motorcycle was too close behind you and braking hard would have caused an accident.
    • You made way for an emergency vehicle;
      • This is a tough one because you are in an awful position, do you delay an emergency vehicle (breaking the Emergency Workers (Obstruction) Act 2006) or creep over the stop line. The rule of law is that they cannot expect you to run a red light.
    • The area is unfamiliar to you and you didn’t notice it;
      • You should be aware of your surroundings.
    • You were following a lorry and it obscured your view until it was too late;
      • You should have left enough room to see road hazards.
    • The lights were not working properly;
      • You would need to provide proof (ideally from a dashcam).
    • The white “Stop” line was faded (the posts used at temporary lights serve as a stop line);
      • Does not matter, you can estimate where the line is through knowledge of the Highway Code
    • The Notice of Intended Prosecution arrived late;
      • These do not need to arrive recorded mail etc, can you prove you did not receive it
    • Court papers were not issued within 6 months.
      • As above


    As you can see running a red light can be very hard to defend, however it is not impossible, especially if you have dashcam footage that would help your defence. Some traffic lights are equipped with cameras to record anyone running a red light.


    Warning – some of the red-light cameras also record speed, if you were caught speeding through a red light then you may well face a charge of careless or dangerous driving, which carries a more severe penalty and may require a trial in Court.


    What happens if you get caught?

    The registered keeper can expect to receive a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NiP) within 14 days of the offence along with the resultant 3 points on your licence and a £100 fine.


    How we can help

    Assuming that you have been charged with such an offence then you would need to initiate a case without delay, upon starting your case your caseworker will create a briefing note for your legal team to examine the charge. We would be happy to file a defence for any charge. If the culmination of the penalty points would cause hardship (such as losing your job etc) and there were extenuating circumstances then we would have the potential to mediate a solution on your behalf.


    To gain our assistance you need to open a case, this is done by taking advantage of our free consultation service, activated by the link at the top of the page, should you wish to start a case the caseworker will send you the suitable payment link. Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

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