Traffic Light / Red Light
Will I be banned for driving through a red light?
Most red light offences would be resolved by either a driver training course of a 3 point / £100 Fixed Penalty so there would be no risk of a ban. However. you would face disqualification if you could not accept a Fixed Penalty because you already have 9 or more penalty points and thus face a 6 month totting up ban.
Some red light offences can be regarded as so serious that an instant ban is imposed of potentially 28-56 days. These offences are normally when the red light has been illuminated for some time (typically in excess of 3 seconds) or some other consequences have arisen i.e. you have collided with another vehicle in the junction or have driven through at an extremely high speed. It should be borne in mind that most traffic light cameras can record both the red light offence and the speed at which you were travelling.
What is the penalty if the case is referred to Court?
The penalty range is a fine up to £1,000 and 3 penalty points, or immediate disqualification. There is no option to increase the number of penalty points and / fine to justify avoiding disqualification if the Court believes a ban is appropriate.
Why has the Court demanded I attend in person for a red light offence?
A personal attendance would only normally be required when the prosecution or the Court concludes that the incident is too serious to deal with in your absence or a written plea has been rejected, potentially because the Court believes that you have misunderstood the offence or the mitigation supplied has been interpreted as a not guilty plea.
The Police Officer said I went through a red light. I don't think I did, what should I do?
If there is no photographic evidence and the case is merely your word against that of a Police Officer, you may wish to defend the case. It must be borne in mind that a red light offence is "strict liability" i.e., if it can be proved that the red light was illuminated when you crossed the white stop line, the offence is established, regardless of the circumstances. To have any prospect of successfully defending a red light allegation, you must persuade the Court that not only was the light not red but even if it was amber, it was not safe for you to stop. This will depend on the exact circumstances and special attention should be given to any comments that the Officer has recorded as attributable to you at the scene. If you feel that you may have a defence, you should seek guidance and assistance immediately so that the merits of your case can be considered fully.Legal Advice
When should I seek legal advice?
If you admit the offence and have been offered a driver improvement course or a 3 point / Fixed Penalty there is really no purpose in obtaining advice and you should simply conclude on the terms offered.
If you dispute the allegation, or the case been referred to Court, you should seek advice immediately.Legal Advice