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Road Traffic Sign Offence Solicitors

At Caddick Davies Solicitors, we are expert Road Traffic Offence Solicitors, specialising in the defence of motorists who are charged with offences of failing to comply with red traffic lights and other signs.

It is an offence for a motorist to fail to comply with a road traffic sign or road marking which is of a type prescribed by law and is lawfully placed. The types of sign to which this applies includes any sign which indicates a prohibition, restriction or requirement, including:

  • Traffic Signals
  • Stop Signs
  • Give Way
  • No Right Turn/Left Turn
  • No Entry
  • Keep Left
  • Box Junction
  • Double White Lines

The offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or traffic sign attracts a fine of up to £1000 and the endorsement of 3 penalty points.

If you are alleged to have committed this offence you will either be offered a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100 and 3 penalty points (it is open to you to decline this) or you will receive a Court Summons or a Single Justice Procedure Notice if the case is referred to the Magistrates’ Court.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice, Summons or Single Justice Procedure Notice for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or road sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Below you will find helpful information about Red Traffic Light and Road Sign Law, How We Can Help and Answers to Commonly Asked Questions.

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What is the penalty for failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign?

The penalty for failing to comply with a red traffic signal or other mandatory sign is a maximum fine of £1,000 and 3 penalty points.

A Fixed Penalty Notice may also be offered in the alternative to formal prosecution which imposes a penalty of £100 and endorses 3 penalty points.

In appropriate cases, a driver re-training course may also be offered, which involves the attendance on a 1/2 day course usually costing between £85 and £110.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summons to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or road sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

What are the defences to a charge of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign?

The offence of failing to comply with a traffic signal or sign is a “strict liability” offence. This means that you commit the offence irrespective of any intention to do so. For instance, if you did not see a sign and contravened it in error, this is no defence.

The main defences which are available to an offence of failing to comply with a traffic signal or sign are:

  • I didn’t fail to comply with the traffic signal e.g. I did not go through a red light;
  • The sign was not lawful in that it did not comply with the relevant regulations; and
  • Duress of circumstance (you acted in fear of injury).

In some cases, even if you do not have a specific defence, it may be possible to argue that the court should not impose penalty points on the grounds of “special reasons” connected with the offence. For instance, if you have crossed the line in an emergency or similar circumstance.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for this offence and you believe that you may have a defence, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

"Thank you again Neil, you provided superb legal support in what was a difficult situation."

Driver Re-Training Course for failing to comply with a red traffic signal

In the alternative to a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for failing to comply with a traffic signal or mandatory sign, motorists may often be offered the chance to attend on a driver re-training course in the alternative.

The courses are often referred to as driver improvement courses and dependent on the police force, include the “driving for change” and “what’s driving us” courses. These courses usually last 1/2 day and cost between £85 and £110.

If the course is completed and the relevant payment is made, then no further action is taken and no penalty points will be endorsed.

Whether or not you are offered the chance to attend on a course is a matter for the discretion of the relevant police force.

A course should only be accepted if you accept that you have committed the offence and do not wish to challenge it. If you do not accept that you have committed the offence then you may reject the offer of the course and request a hearing before the Magistrates’ Court where you may plead not guilty and contest the case against you.

if you find yourself investigated, offered a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to appear before a Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or other sign, please contact us for advice and a no-obligation consultation on how we can help. We’ll put you in touch with a motoring offence lawyer from our team who will be able to discuss your legal options.

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How We Can Help You

At Caddick Davies Solicitors, we specialise in the representation of motorists charged with contravening red traffic light signals and other signage offences.

As specialist motoring solicitors we are able to use our expertise and experience to provide the best possible advice and representation to our clients.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Court Summons for an offence of contravening a red traffic signal or another signage offence, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

Commonly Asked Questions About Red Traffic Light and Sign Offences

Yes – Section 1 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, requires that in order for you to be prosecuted for failing to stop at a red traffic light or to comply with a sign, you must be given warning that you may be prosecuted within 14 days of the alleged offence.

This warning may be given to you either by a police officer warning you at the scene, or alternatively, in writing such that you receive the notice within 14 days.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

If a traffic light is showing red then you MUST stop at the white stop line or in line with the traffic signal.

If the amber light is illuminated then you MUST stop unless your vehicle has already passed the white stop line or you are so close that it would be unsafe to bring your vehicle to a stop.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help.

The offence of failing to comply with a red traffic light is committed if any part of your vehicle crosses the white line.

This means that you may be prosecuted even if most of your vehicle remains behind the line.

In such cases however, it may be possible to make application to the court not to endorse penalty points on your driving licence on the grounds of “special reasons”.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

In these circumstances you could factually dispute the offence at trial on the basis that you did not pass through the light when it was on red, such that you did not commit the offence. It is however, also an offence to pass through an amber light if it is safe to stop. The fact that you have passed through an amber light will not therefore always be a defence.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

The offence of failing to comply with a red traffic light (and other signs) is a “strict liability offence” meaning that it is committed even if you did not intend to do so. In these circumstances, if the police or prosecution could not be persuaded to “drop” any prosecution the appropriate plea would be one of Guilty.

Whilst you have pleaded Guilty and the court would usually be required to impose a fine (to a maximum of £1,000) and 3 penalty points, the court may be asked not to impose any points (and likely not to give any fine) on the grounds of “special reasons”.

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

Yes – Section 95A of the Highways Act 1980 gives authority for Highways Authorities to install traffic signal cameras to detect traffic offences.

At present there are 4 red traffic light cameras in operation in the UK. These include:

  • Gatsometer (BV Type 36)
  • Traffiphot IIIG
  • Redguard
  • Redspeed

If you find yourself with a Fixed Penalty Notice or Summonsed to the Magistrates’ Court for an offence of failing to comply with a red traffic signal or sign, please contact us for advice and a no obligation consultation on how we can help you.

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