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Thread: Need advice from about faulty traffic lights

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Default Need advice from about faulty traffic lights

    Hi,

    I am representing myself, fighting for my innocence in court after receiving a NIP for going through a red light. The images I got from the police show me going through the intersection, but you cannot see any red lights (cant see any lights illuminated). I dont recall going through a red light. The sun was low in the sky (10am in December) so vision was a bit obscured.

    The basis of my defence is this, plus the fact that another 6 motorists are going through the same intersection at the same time. The likelyhood of this is remote if this lights were actually red.

    I have been told by the court that I need to get maintenance records for the traffic lights and camera systems from the council, safety camera unit. I have requested these and wait to see what happens.

    I need to find someone who knows about traffic light controllers etc. (like a highways engineer) to tell me what I should be looking for in the maintenance records. I need to cast doubt on the reliable operation of the lights, so hope someone on here can help me out.

    Thanks in advance

    Shawn

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
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    Scotland
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    Sounds like you are on a uphill struggle there Shawn, as once the powers that be accuse you of something like that, you have to prove your innocence to them, and believe me, that's not an easy job, good luck with it

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by smudger View Post
    Sounds like you are on a uphill struggle there Shawn, as once the powers that be accuse you of something like that, you have to prove your innocence to them, and believe me, that's not an easy job, good luck with it
    Thanks mate. My wife says I should have just taken the £60 fine and 3 points. It would have worked out cheaper overall, but I always find myself taking the moral high ground. I am not guilty so why just accept what is forced upon me, just because a safety officer signs a generic template letter saying I commited an offence?

    The systems are not infallable and it does seems the odds are against me, but I can only do my best.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    As far as I know, the camera is not active until the light is red. That is, the camera would have to be told by the traffic light control system, light on red. As to the maintenance log for the lights, I would say you are looking for work done immediately after your alleged offence. As to six other cars in the photo, I am afraid that is no defence, unless the system can be proved to have been faulty.
    On balance, if you get the maintenance log, the odds are there will not be a fault (the usual form is to cancel the NIP if there was a fault and a victim asks to see the log), the sun really is not a defence (the counter to it is, so you were moving and you could not see), I think your wife is correct, pay the NIP or waste a lot of cash.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Quite simply, it has to be proved that you committed the offence you are accused of. If they have no evidence showing you passing through a red light, then you have not passed through a red light. You are entitled to all evidence against you, and if you are adamant that the lights cannot be seen in the photo, then there is no evidence. You are innocent.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    1

    Default Advice on "faulty" traffic lights

    Shawn,

    You are a victim of a legal "principle" known as "strict liability", which means that even if your illegal act was unintentional, you're still regarded as guilty. The stupidity of applying such a principle in an environment as complex as the road one beggars belief, in my opinion, and it is utterly amazing to hear that the lights cannot be seen in the photograph which is being used against you. However, it is not unusual. I have had the same problem with red light cameras at a level crossing in my area - and I have been fighting it for nearly 12 years now.

    The court will know nothing about the perceptual difficulties that have led to your situation - its advice is worthless. It is very unlikely that there will be anything wrong with the lights - in your case, it probably is the low sun that is causing the problem.
    So-called safety cameras are a disgrace to this country - as is the use of photographic "evidence". They both obstruct progress towards safer roads, cameras because ignorant people think that prosecution solves problems, whereas it merely stops us asking "Why did the driver do what he did?" and photographs, because they tell us nothing about what the driver has or has not seen and they will almost certainly provide only the most distorted view of the circumstances, anyway.

    You need to make your concerns clear to your MP and, perhaps, enlist the help of an academic working in the field of the psychology of perception. The RAC really ought to be able to help, as it does have some of the right connections.

    A useful web-site is http://www.visualexpert.com/Resource...accidents.html

    I am afraid that our blame culture is not making us safer - and our judicial system is not helping matters. Simply making rules and exacting penalties is not sufficient - but there's lots of money to be made out of it.

    Best of luck,

    Andrew.

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