Traffic Light Cameras

These play a vital role in road safety.

Traffic light cameras… what are they? What triggers them? What do we do if we’ve been caught? We are here to give you all the key information you need, so you know what to do and what not to do.
What does a traffic light camera do? The traffic light cameras are installed to detect the occurrence of when a vehicle passes through a set of traffic lights when they have turned red – they detect this by using sensors or ground loops in the road.
 
How does a traffic light camera work? The technology used in most traffic light cameras is made by Gatsometer; these have built-in radar technology with dual speed and red light functions.
 
Immediately, once a traffic light is red, a system is activated and the camera is ready to photograph any vehicle that passes over the trigger (the white line). It is a known offence, that as soon as your vehicle passes over the white stop line you will be a culprit of this crime.
However, to put the fairy-tale story to bed, the camera will not detect you if you’re crossing the sensors when the lights are on amber.
 
Why do we need traffic light cameras? They serve the ultimate purpose of protecting us and increasing road safety. In most cases, they are installed in high-risk areas; if there have been many road accidents in that area or it’s a known spot for people to run a red light.
 
How will I know if I’ve been caught by a traffic light camera? Unfortunately, there is no certain guarantee that you will be aware that you’ve been caught, unless the camera flashes. However, traffic light cameras don’t always flash like Gatsometer’s common yellow box speed cameras.
 
If your car is caught by the camera, you’ll receive a “Notice of Intended Prosecution” (NIP) within 2 weeks’ time, once the photo has been reviewed by the authorities.
 
If I’ve been caught by a traffic light camera – what happens after? The NIP will contact the registered owner to name the offending driver, complete each section and return it within 28 days.
 
Commonly, the notice will ask you for an admission of guilt and order the payment of a fixed penalty fine in place of taking the case to court.
How can I appeal a penalty notice for a traffic light camera violation? As with most cases, if there is photographic evidence to prove that you have passed the white stop line at the time, you will not get away with just saying you didn’t intend to run the light.

These are two types of circumstances which may allow a defence:
  • Proving you did not go through the red light
  • Proving there was a defect with the light or related signage
What are the consequences of running a red light? Not only is this a major road safety breach, putting yourself and other drivers around you in danger. But this will require the offending driver to pay a fine.
 
Today, the current penalty for not stopping for a red light is a £100 fine and 3 points on your license – this will stay on your records for four years.
 
On the other hand, if you refuse to sign or respond to a NIP, or provide the correct details of the offending driver – you’ll be faced with prosecution, six penalty points and a maximum fine of £1,000.  Whilst also offering educational courses too.
 

To conclude, make sure you plan your route and make yourself aware of any roadworks or anything that could put extra time on your journey. To avoid this, ultimately make sure you give yourself a sufficient amount of time to get to your destination.
 
For more CarCliq guides click here
To learn more about major driving offences and their consequences, click here

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