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Please Help - Red/Amber Traffic Light issues.


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Hi, please bear with me on this one its quite long winded but well worth a read and if you can offer assistance please do.

 

First off im 29, been driving 12 years, 11 of those in Class 1 and 2 HGV with Pass Plus, Advanced Driving, ADR and various other driving courses thanks to 7 years in the armed forces, being a HGV driver i do class myself as a professional driver and drive with care and consideration, i am no longer serving in the Armed Forces.

 

Right then, back in January now i was stopped for apparently driving through a Red Light. Unmarked car, one officer, camera on and recording. Went through the usual, come to my car, you did this, heres a ticket for your troubles etc.. I tried to explain that being in a Laden 32 tonne 8 wheel tipper truck i couldnt stop on a sixpence because the light had turned AMBER as i got to it accelerating and that it was still amber as the cab of my wagon passed it, he insisted that having supposedly driven wagons in the past he knows that i could have stopped and then insisted the light was red. To save a roadside argument i left it at that.

 

3/4 weeks later the conditional offer came through the door, Driver improvement course @ £70 and a day off work to do it so around £250 it will cost me all in all or £60 and 3 points of Court. I called Lancashire Constabulary Central Processing Unit to see if i could get the footage from his car before i went any further as i know if it went to court it would be that footage that was the deciding factor so i wanted to see what it was showing (expecting it to not show much as he was about 2m off the back of the wagon), they told me a few times that it was not possible to get this footage unless i went to court but gave me an email address to try and see if they could help, it was Advance Disclosures.

 

So i Emailed Advanced Disclosures explaining that i only wanted to know if it was possible to obtain the footage and explaining why i wanted it. they wrote back to me a week later saying they had requested a court date as it was obvious that i was disputing the offence. que a very quick phonecall back to Central Processing to ask what is going on, after going round in circles for 10 minutes the lady i was speaking to finally accepted that id only asked if it was possible to get the footage but insisted it was too late not to go to court, after another 10 minuted of circles she stopped any court action and then one step further, as a team manager she told me to submit a SAR (Subject Access Request) to Lancs Constabulary to have the video footage released, they sent out the forms needed and extended the deadline for me to make a decision on the penalty..

 

Forms filled out and sent back with £10 cheque payment, letter came back confirming the SAR had been received and would be actioned within the 40 day timescale, a few weeks later the cheque was cashed so i thought all was going well untill out of the blue i received a phone call from the Officer that pulled me over for the alleged offence.

 

he asked me "is that Martin" i replied that it was then he dived in feet first telling me i was being petty asking for the footage as id accepted it at the roadside, i corrected him on that and reminded him that id pleaded my case and told him that i was asking for the footage as i know my word against his is worth nothing if the footage shows something completely different, his tone then changed to more of an aggressive talking over me kind of tone, "well Central Processing have asked me to call you to tell you that you ARE NOT getting the footage" i asked him why they had asked me to send a SAR and taken payment, he couldnt answer so i told him ill call them and hear it from them before going any further, he told me "its pointless calling them, if you want the footage then go to court and ill look forward to seeing you there" this sounded like more of a threat to me so i did everything i could to wrap up the phone call and end it. - to point out the Officer made no attempt at confirming Data Protection which im aware even the police need to do so a possible breach of The Data Protection Act 1998??

 

I called Central Process Unit back straight away and spoke to the same manager i had previously, she had no idea why the officer called me, could see no notes why either, she told me Advance Disclosures were indeed processing my SAR and gave me a smaller window in which they'd be intouch with me. I asked for the complaints details so i could submit a complaint against the officer for the threatening call, she made no effort to talk me down.

 

Today - Advance Disclosures wrote to me:

 

Dear Mr bash83845

I write further to your subject access application.

Enquiries have been conducted to locate the footage requested however

i can confirm that no recorded footage is held relating to this incident on

any of our systems.

Yours Sincerely

***** *****

Disclosure Assistant.

 

Now i know the footage was there as he played it back in the car to get the time off it so where has it gone? if they have lost the footage as it seems are they allowed to suddenly unloose it and use it against me if i choose to take the matter to court?

 

What would be the likely outcome in court given all of the above, would any of you have any idea?

 

Why did the officer call me, lie to me and to be honest it felt like he was trying to intimidate me "Ill look forward to seeing you in court"?

 

before anyone says, just take the course or take the fine and points, ive never been one to roll over and let someone knife me in the back for nothing, i know hand on heart that the light was amber and i could not have stopped in time so as per the highway code carried on, i broke no law but at the same time if theres a high chance a court will award against me id rather just take the course and financial hit to go with it as i need my license to keep a roof over my head, id rather not load it with points for something i know i didnt do.

Please, if anyone has any ideas or knows anything about this kind of thing can you comment and offer some or any advice as it really would be appreciated.

 

again many thanks for reading this and bearing with me, i know its a long read but i thought best be as detailed as possible and miss nothing out, i hope its not put any of you off reading/replying.

 

many thanks in advance, Martin.

Edited by Conniff
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Well I would say you don't take the course or points. He has obviously been caught out and don't like it.

 

The police are getting caught out in a lot of things these days. Perhaps the background checks aren't as thorough as they used to be or we were so stupid we always thought them right.

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Hi Martin,

 

They are now saying they don't have the proof because there is no recording and it is your word against his about what was said at the time.

 

There is another thread where a guy was pulled over and accused of being on his mobile when he wasn't, and he went to court and won.

 

The thread is here http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/showthread.php?381916-Challenging-Hand-held-mobile-offence...not-guilty.-**Acquitted**

 

It may give you some encouragement.

 

The very fact that this policeman is calling you up and accusing you of being petty speaks volumes. And how convenient that they don't have the video footage. :!:

 

In your circumstances I would go to Court and hope that I'd get a judge with common sense. They are used to police officers being economical with the truth - and I'm not for one moment saying that all police officers are like the one you have encountered or the one on the thread above.

 

I expect you will get some more input here. You could also post a link on the above thread asking for people to come here and help you.

 

DD

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in your own words "as i got to it accelerating "

 

surely you should not, with all the experience you have and the many courses you've been on, have been doing that when approaching traffic lights?

 

however we are not here to judge you.

 

dx

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I don't think bash meant he was accelerating in order to jump the amber light. I thought he meant he was accelerating anyway as we all do in all sorts of situations when we are driving. Then the light changed as he was almost on top of it so he didn't want to slam the brakes on, and if he had done it would have taken him over the lights anyway.

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I always thought an ambetr light was a stop light and was treated the same as red?

 

Amber is indeed "Stop" : where it differs from 'Red' is that for amber it is "stop, unless you are so close to the stop line that in doing so you might cause an accident"

http://www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_070561.pdf

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I always thought an ambetr light was a stop light and was treated the same as red?

 

 

Amber means stop unless it would be unsafe to do so.

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A few years ago i ended up getting flashed by a Gatso speed camera and received a NIP

 

I sent them a letter asking for a copy of the photograph, the response i got was that they have withdrawn the prosecution due to no photograph.

 

If they have no evidence of the crime being committed, how can they find you guilty?

 

Just go to court, plead not guilty and request the evidence

 

What i cannot understand is how they can say they are not letting you have the evidence against you prior to your appearance in court. That is unlawful and contrary to the Criminal Procedure Rules on evidence

 

WHY HAVE YOU NOT QUESTIONED THAT

 

I would put it in writing and send it to the office that is dealing with the prosecution, that will be the people who you send the NIP back to

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in your own words "as i got to it accelerating "

 

surely you should not, with all the experience you have and the many courses you've been on, have been doing that when approaching traffic lights?

 

however we are not here to judge you.

 

dx

 

If I didn't accelerate buddy I wouldn't get anywhere, there were 3 or 4 cars and a sweeper in front of me, cars pulled away as soon as the light went green, sweeper started to pull away then slowerpd again before the lights and dropped his sweeping gear so i indicated right, checked mirrors, lane was clear so pulled out to the right lane and continued to accelerate, lights went to amber as I was 10 foot or so away from them, split second decision,

 

Know the cross roads are effectively closed and can see there's no adjoining traffic, I'm laden and on throttle not coasting or slowing so chances of stopping in 10 feet with a 3 series beemer right up my jacksie are slim to none so in that split second in decided to keep my foot in it, lights were still amber as my cab passed the stop line so quick sigh of relief before the beemer that tailed me through put on his blues.

Actually are officers allowed to break the law to uphold the law because if it was supposedly red when in proceeded through its certain they were fully red when he went through?

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A few years ago i ended up getting flashed by a Gatso speed camera and received a NIP

 

I sent them a letter asking for a copy of the photograph, the response i got was that they have withdrawn the prosecution due to no photograph.

 

If they have no evidence of the crime being committed, how can they find you guilty?

 

Just go to court, plead not guilty and request the evidence

 

What i cannot understand is how they can say they are not letting you have the evidence against you prior to your appearance in court. That is unlawful and contrary to the Criminal Procedure Rules on evidence

 

WHY HAVE YOU NOT QUESTIONED THAT

 

I would put it in writing and send it to the office that is dealing with the prosecution, that will be the people who you send the NIP back to

 

The difference for you buddy is that the only case against you was the camera photos, though they have supposedly lost the video footage of my alleged offence there is still the officer statement son sadly it seems they still think there is a case to answer to. Good on you for getting it dropped though :-)

 

The whole video before the court choice thing I had out with CPU a few times as it seems wrong to present you with 3 possible punishments and make you choose without being shown the evidence against you, "it could effect the outcome of the case" is the only reason they gave me for not wanting to give me the footage, my reply was "yes effect the outcome so as that in don't take a punishment for something incident do!" That is how it is though, the solicitor I spoke to on Saturday said I did well getting them to action a subject access request as they didn't have to, the outcome that they have lost the footage is something I'd have only known if I chose to go to court otherwise.

 

She/the solicitor wanted to check with a motoring expert solicitor friend of hers to see where perverting the course of justice stands with it as although they will argue the footage shown an offence i can argue that it would prove my innocence and they have purposely lost it as it shows this, apparently if I can go for this its likely the alleged traffic offence would be thrown out there and then with a desperate case for PTCoJ starting at a later date.

She also wanted to double check that they couldn't suddenly find this footage again if I choose a court hearing, having got an email and hard copy letter saying there is no video footage on their systems relating to the incident in question, they can't really deny saying it.

 

Just have to see what she says tomorrow when she calls me back but needless to say if the course was not on offer and it was points/fine or court id have been up in magistrates weeks ago, just that the course it the guarantee of no points which is the main thing to me. Grrr!!!!

 

 

Oh had a reply from professional standards dept too saying they have logged my incident with PC Erett but not as am official complaint as it doesn't relate to a specific officer?? Obviously they can't read or missed the 3 paragraphs where in wrote about him calling me on my own number without completing data protection checks, trying to intimidate me into accepting the course and telling me he was calling on behalf of the central process unit which was a lie as they had no record of it and that's not standard practice anyway. The call was generally bad practice/procedure intimidation and lies with no point or official capacity at all. Either way back on the phone tomorrow to get it logged as an official complaint or forward to the IPCC myself.

 

Thanks again for reading and sorry again its getting longer each time. If many of you can clarify on the whole video lost, been told its lost and have proof of being told this but where do i stand if they suddenly find it again before/at court side of things please do tell as this is quite a big thing I need to know.

 

Thanks again, martin.

Edited by bash83845
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Doesn't the HC say to approach traffic lights with caution and be ready to stop. It matters not what your were driving, you hadn't even reached the line when they changed to amber so did effectively go through a red light.

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But I think it does matter what bash was driving. Bash was driving a 32 tonne tipper truck and stopping distances for lorries are more than for cars. I don't see how he could have stopped before the crossing without flooring the brakes and even then I think he would have crossed the lights and ended up across the crossroads.

 

He had slowed to overtake a parking vehicle so anyone would be accelerating after that to get their speed up to 20-30 mph again.

 

Also, if the police car was only 2m behind bash and he had made what would effectively be an emergency stop then the police car would probably have gone straight into the back of him and they'd be saying he didn't stop safely. If the police car was that close it was too close.

 

I would emphasise that I don't in any way condone people running amber lights. They are a menace. But in this situation I really don't see how bash could have safely stopped that particular lorry in 10 ft.

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