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Traffic Signs and Signal Offences

What is a traffic signal offence?

Typically, a failure to comply with a traffic sign or signal will fall in to one of the following categories;

  • TS10 Failing to comply with traffic light signal
  • TS20 Failing to comply with double white lines
  • TS30 Failing to comply with a stop sign
  • TS40 Failing to comply with direction of a constable/warden
  • TS50 Failing to comply with a traffic sign (excluding Stop signs, traffic lights and double white lines)
  • TS60 Failing to comply with a school crossing patrol sign
  • TS70 Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign

Of these, the most common traffic signal offences are;

  • Traffic light offence - for example, driving through a red-light signal
  • Road Sign Offence - for example, disregarding a give way or no entry sign  
  • Road Markings Offence - for example, disregarding single or double white lines

Running a Red-Light Traffic Offence

By far the most common traffic signal offence is running a red light (even if you thought you went through an amber light), with most offences these days being caught on a traffic camera located at the junction. A driver is just as likely to be stopped by the police at the time of the offence. Either way the offence is usually dealt with by a Fixed Penalty of 3 points and a fine of £100.

Traffic light offences are dealt with under Section 36(1) Road Traffic Act 1988 and running a red light or failing to comply with any road markings at the lights is an offence.

Defence Against a Road Signal Offence

It can be very easy to miss road signs when confused by complicated junctions and road layouts, especially if temporary signs have been employed.

There are strict rules governing condition and clarity of traffic signs, signals and road markings. Most of the legislation in this area is contained in the Traffic Sign Regulations & General Directions 2002.  

For example, all traffic signals and signs must comply with these regulations in terms of size, colour and type. Traffic signs must also be lawfully placed in clear unobstructed view of the driver and failure by the authorities to observe these regulations may provide a reasonable defence. In all cases, there is a presumption that the traffic signs do comply with the regulations, unless proved otherwise.
 
At Lanyon Bowdler we can listen to your circumstances and advise on your unique situation.  Please call our expert traffic signal offence solicitor’s team as we may be able to build an excellent defence for you.

Penalties for Traffic Signal Offences

Generally speaking, most traffic offence will be dealt with by way of three penalty points and a fixed fine of £100. However, Magistrates have the discretion to disqualify you from driving for up to 56 days depending on the seriousness of the offence and issue a fine of up to £1000.

In extreme cases, failure to comply with a traffic sign could result in prosecution for careless driving.

When caught on camera, a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) must be issued to the owner of the vehicle within 14 days of the alleged offence. You must provide the details of the driver at the time of the offence and a failure to comply with this requirement is a separate offence which carries six points.

Totting Up of Penalty Points

Though most of the offences described above are dealt with by way of fixed penalties, a fixed penalty cannot be accepted if a driver is subject to potential disqualification under totting up rules.
In these circumstances a court summons will be issued, and the driver will be required to attend court. The same procedure is followed if a driver denies the offence or refuses a fixed penalty.

If you already have nine or more points on your licence then you will tot up to 12 points and the Magistrates will consider disqualifying you from driving.

If you are being prosecuted for an offence relating to the failure to comply with a traffic sign or signal and you are in the position where totting up applies to you then just call the team at Lanyon Bowdler as you will need an expert solicitor to prepare your case. If you are worried about building up penalty points following a road traffic signs or signal offence, or worse still you are heading for 12 points. There are still options for you. Talk to one of our specialist road traffic lawyers at Lanyon Bowdler. We will be happy to help and will be able to best advise you. Call the number at the top of this page or complete our enquiry form today and one of specialist driving laywers will get in touch with you

 

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