Consequence of driving through a red light?

SeagullFTB
SeagullFTB Posts: 124
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My wife was travelling home from work quite late on Monday and accidentally drove through a red light at a crossroads. She assures me that it was a lapse of concentration and she mistook the green "right turn only" light as her light and went straight through. As it was late, there weren't any other cars around and no accident was caused. It was dark and she said she didn't notice any flash, but I am aware that some red light cameras use infra-red instead.

It's a slightly unusual junction. Right turns go first, followed by those travelling straight on and turning left. But as there is an island for pedestrians, the cars in the right lane have to actually veer to the left slightly, cutting slightly across the middle lane, before they can actually turn right. Here is a picture of the junction from the direction of travel.



She was travelling down the middle lane and went straight ahead, and when she noticed the green light was for right turn only, it was too late to stop without ending up in the middle of the crossroads. She assures me that she wasn't speeding (to be honest, I rarely ever notice her speed), and she just misread the lights on her approach.

Here is the red light camera:



My questions are:

1. Would you expect this time of camera to flash?
2. Would the red light camera sensors under the road be active when right turns are going? From what I know, they only activate when the lights are red, but I'm unsure if each lane is independent.
3. If/When she receives a NIP, what is the likelihood that she will be offered a course instead of 3 points? It's her first offence, but she's only been driving for 8 months. Most websites say a course is only offered if you went through the light within 3 seconds of it turning red, which she definitely didn't. In theory, she went through it about 10 seconds too early, as it was due to turn green next.

Thank you.
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  • jlfrs01
    jlfrs01 Posts: 279
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    I think you'll find everything you need to know in this link:

    https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/cameras/traffic-light-cameras/
  • SeagullFTB
    SeagullFTB Posts: 124
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    jlfrs01 said:
    I think you'll find everything you need to know in this link:

    https://www.rac.co.uk/drive/advice/cameras/traffic-light-cameras/
    Thank you. I have already read through that and I'm still unsure. The confusing part is whether the sensors are active when one lane has a green light, but the other two don't.
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,121
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    The RAC page has quite a few inaccuracies. 

    The answers:

    1. Not necessarily
    2. The lanes are almost certainly independent
    3. If you're right about the time into red, no chance of a course or fixed penalty.
  • SeagullFTB
    SeagullFTB Posts: 124
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    Car_54 said:
    The RAC page has quite a few inaccuracies. 

    The answers:

    1. Not necessarily
    2. The lanes are almost certainly independent
    3. If you're right about the time into red, no chance of a course or fixed penalty.
    Thank you. Can I just ask you to clarify the third point.

    No chance of a course or fixed penalty? Surely if a course wouldn't be offered, it would be a fixed penalty instead? I'm presuming of £100 and 3 points on the licence.
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,121
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    Car_54 said:
    The RAC page has quite a few inaccuracies. 

    The answers:

    1. Not necessarily
    2. The lanes are almost certainly independent
    3. If you're right about the time into red, no chance of a course or fixed penalty.
    Thank you. Can I just ask you to clarify the third point.

    No chance of a course or fixed penalty? Surely if a course wouldn't be offered, it would be a fixed penalty instead? I'm presuming of £100 and 3 points on the licence.
    An FP is only offered up to a certain time into red. That threshold isn't published (and anyway may vary between forces), but anecdotally it's less than 10 seconds - maybe 3.

    If it does go to court, it will still only be three points. Disqualification is theoretically possible, but it's unthinkable if the circumstances are as your wife described.
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,131
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    Car_54 said:
    The RAC page has quite a few inaccuracies. 

    The answers:

    1. Not necessarily
    2. The lanes are almost certainly independent
    3. If you're right about the time into red, no chance of a course or fixed penalty.
    Thank you. Can I just ask you to clarify the third point.

    No chance of a course or fixed penalty? Surely if a course wouldn't be offered, it would be a fixed penalty instead? I'm presuming of £100 and 3 points on the licence.
    A course would generally be offered if the light had only just turned red. A fixed penalty would be offered if it had been red for a bit longer.

    If it had been red for a very long time then it would be a court appearance - or nowadays a single justice procedure where she doesn't actually have to attend court if she isn't contesting the charge. The outcome of either would still be 3 points, but a larger fine than £1000, the exact amount depending on her income.
  • SeagullFTB
    SeagullFTB Posts: 124
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    Aretnap said:
    A course would generally be offered if the light had only just turned red. A fixed penalty would be offered if it had been red for a bit longer.

    If it had been red for a very long time then it would be a court appearance - or nowadays a single justice procedure where she doesn't actually have to attend court if she isn't contesting the charge. The outcome of either would still be 3 points, but a larger fine than £1000, the exact amount depending on her income.
    Larger than £1000? or was that supposed to be £100?

    Is there any realistic chance that the camera didn't go off?
  • Aretnap
    Aretnap Posts: 5,131
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    Aretnap said:
    A course would generally be offered if the light had only just turned red. A fixed penalty would be offered if it had been red for a bit longer.

    If it had been red for a very long time then it would be a court appearance - or nowadays a single justice procedure where she doesn't actually have to attend court if she isn't contesting the charge. The outcome of either would still be 3 points, but a larger fine than £1000, the exact amount depending on her income.
    Larger than £1000? or was that supposed to be £100?

    Is there any realistic chance that the camera didn't go off?
    Oops, sorry, I meant more than £100. £1000 is the absolute maximum, but in practice it wouldn't be anything like that much unless she's unusually well-paid.

    Yes it's possible that the camera didn't go off, wasn't working, didn't distinguish between the filter lanes etc. Realistically there's nothing you can do just now except sit and wait to see what turns up in the post, so try not to worry about it too much until something actually does 
  • SeagullFTB
    SeagullFTB Posts: 124
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    Thank you. It's hard to expect the worst, especially as she's a relatively new driver. I suppose the fear is that somehow she'll get more than 3 points and lose her licence. Just have to wait and see what happens. 
  • Car_54
    Car_54 Posts: 8,121
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    Thank you. It's hard to expect the worst, especially as she's a relatively new driver. I suppose the fear is that somehow she'll get more than 3 points and lose her licence. Just have to wait and see what happens. 
    Three points is the maximum for the offence.
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