Legally reviewed by: Kevin Waddingham Updated:

Traffic Light Offences

Traffic light offences

If you have been accused of running a red light, or any other offences while driving, benefit from specialist defence from our trusted Motoring Law team. Cartwright King has a high success rate for clearing UK motorists of traffic light offences. We can prepare the strongest possible defence for your case and help you avoid a penalty or punishment.

Get in touch with our dedicated Motoring Law team today for reliable advice.

Red light offences and Notice of Intended Prosecution 

When you are driving a motor vehicle, it is an offence for any part of your vehicle to pass the white stop line if a traffic light has turned either red or amber. This applies to motorway flashing red lights, red lights at automatic level crossings and portable red lights at road works. If prosecuted for the offence of failing to comply with red light signals, you face at least 3 penalty points being imposed on your licence and a substantial fine. If you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution through the post, it is vital to seek early legal advice. At Cartwright King, we will advise you promptly and represent you in court if necessary.

How Cartwright King can defend you against Running A Red Light

Cartwright King takes a non-judgemental and pro-active approach to your case. We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about defending you against accusations of going through a red light. We offer reliable legal advice to ensure that the best possible action is taken to help you avoid penalties.

We can advise you on all manner of traffic light offences, including:

  • Failing to stop at a red light
  • Accusations of causing injury to pedestrians by running a red light
  • Allegations of endangering other motorists

Benefit from speaking to our Driving Offence specialists

If you have been accused of traffic light offences, you can benefit from a short initial telephone call with a specialist Cartwright King Motoring Offence Lawyer to understand your legal rights and to assess your options.

There’s no substitute for speaking to one of our specialist solicitors to get the right advice, and starting to build your case. 

For immediate action, contact us today for your initial discussion.

The discussion is completely informal and confidential, and is an opportunity for us to:

  • Get to know you 
  • Understand your situation
  • Agree how you want to proceed

Why choose Cartwright King to defend your Traffic Light Offence allegation?

Having an experienced Motoring Offence Lawyer representing you is often the difference when it comes to avoiding penalties for traffic light offences.

We listen, we understand and we genuinely care about protecting you from punishment. That’s why we offer sound, honest, reliable legal advice to ensure that you understand your rights when facing charges for running a red light.

Working with a specialist Cartwright King solicitor gives you the assurance of having access to legal counsel who will advise you at every stage of your case. We know that charges for driving offences can affect your day-to-day life and potentially your job.

That’s why we will do everything we can to clear you of wrongdoing or minimise any action against you.

We’re committed to defending your legal rights and protecting your driving future, ensuring that you’re treated fairly throughout your case. When you need us most, we’ll be there to offer sound, sensible legal advice and sure guidance.

We’re a trusted, resourceful Legal 500 top tier law firm with specialist solicitors that are calm under pressure, giving you defence counsel that you can count on.

We're here for you.

Frequently asked questions.

I ran a red light seconds after it changed, is it an offence?

Yes. You have committed an offence by failing to stop behind the white line if a traffic light has switched to red. You are obligated to stop at a traffic light unless it is green.

If the amber light is showing, then you must stop unless you have already crossed the white stop line or if you are too close to stop the vehicle safely, and without causing an accident.

How was I caught running a red light?

Most traffic lights now have cameras attached to them, which can spot when a motorist has run a red light, providing compelling evidence of an offence. Alternatively, you may have been caught by a police patrol.

If you were caught running a red light, a Notice of Intended Prosecution will be sent to you asking you to confirm who was driving your vehicle at the time. If you’re unsure who was driving the vehicle at the time, contact Cartwright King immediately to get early advice from our Driving Offence team.

How many points do I lose for going through a red light?

If you are found guilty of driving through a red light the likely outcome is a fine and three penalty points. Failure to return the notice properly completed is an offence, which carries six penalty points.

What penalty could I face?

If you are found guilty, the most likely penalty is a fine and three points on your licence – if you accepted a fixed penalty. Should your case go to Court, the judge has the power to disqualify you from driving and issue a fine of up to £1,000. 

Depending on the circumstances, you may be offered a ‘driver awareness course’ as an alternative to a fine and penalty points. This involves attending a half-day course at a cost of anywhere between £85 and £110.

What defence can I use?

Failing to stop for a traffic signal is deemed a ‘strict liability’ offence, so it does not usually allow for a defence saying that it was not your intention to commit the offence. However, some circumstances may give you cause for defence, for example:

  • Demonstrating that you did not in fact run a red light
  • There was a defect with the traffic light or the signage associated with it

In some circumstances, while you may be guilty  of the offence, we may be able to raise “special reasons” which if found would give the Court discretion not to order points on your licence. 

 A ‘special reason’ is something that does not amount to a defence, but is connected with the offence. It must be a mitigating circumstance and something which the court should properly take into account. 

For example, demonstrating that the only reason you did not stop at the light was to prevent a serious accident or loss of life, or that you crossed the line to allow an emergency vehicle past.

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