Do You Get Points for Going Through a Red Light?

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Do You Get Points for Going Through a Red Light?

Running a red light is a minor motoring offence on its own, but can have serious implications if combined with another offence, for example, if someone is hurt because of your actions. Additionally, the points that you get for driving through a red light can be enough to tip you over the 12-point limit, leading to the retraction of your driving licence and the further consequences that can have on your life.

Avoiding the penalties for driving through a red light can be easily done by exercising caution when in areas with crossings and traffic lights - the offence is simple and therefore easy to avoid committing. However, accidents can happen; you should be aware of what you may be facing if you are caught driving through red traffic lights. In the following guide, the motoring law experts at JMW Solicitors explain the penalties for running a red light, what other factors may cause your penalties to increase and what you should do if you receive a penalty for a motoring offence.

What are the penalties for driving through a red traffic light?

If you are caught running a red light in the UK, you can expect to receive the following penalties at the police stage (not in court):

  • Three penalty points on your driving licence
  • A fixed penalty fine of £100

Driving through a red light can often be associated with other motoring offences, such as driving under the influence of alcohol or careless or inconsiderate driving. If the police finds that you were driving carelessly and put other road users' safety at risk, or that you were intoxicated, you may incur much higher penalties, including larger fines, more points, a driving ban or even a prison sentence.

As well as the initial penalties that you incur from driving through a red light, you will likely also have to deal with the further implications that having a driving offence on your record or points on your licence can bring. For example, insurance companies often charge increased rates to drivers who have committed offences in the past. If you lose the ability to drive due to totting-up (exceeding the points limit), you may not be able to support any people who rely on you to drive them, and you may miss out on job opportunities.

Therefore, it is essential that you take every caution to ensure that you are driving safely on the road and avoid making any mistakes that could prove costly.

What can you expect to happen following a red light offence?

Depending on how your offence is witnessed, the process following your offence will be slightly different:

  • If you are pulled over by the police, they will give you a fixed penalty notice (FPN) and may arrest you if you are found to have committed a more serious offence
  • If you are caught by a traffic light camera, you will receive your FPN through the post, or you will receive court summons if you committed a more serious offence and/or went through the light when it was visible for some time. 

If you have received an FPN, you will be expected to do one of two things - accept your charges and pay the fine, which you must do within 14 days of your offence if you are the registered keeper, not from when you receive the FPN. Or, you can refuse your charges, after which you will receive a court date and will be expected to defend yourself. You can do either of these steps by filling out the relevant side of the FPN and returning it to the police. Your driving licence will also be required alongside the completion of the FPN.

What should you do if you are caught running a red light?

Before you make any decisions about whether to accept or reject your charges, you should speak to an expert motoring law solicitor - such as those at JMW. Motoring law is highly complex and the wrong choices can be costly; our team has had decades of success in defending motoring offences and we will be able to assess your situation using our understanding of the law and help you to make the best decision.

You should be aware that the process of defending a motoring offence can be lengthy - lasting up to six months for many minor offence cases. On top of this, if you attempt to dispute your charges and fail, your penalties will be increased. Depending on the context of the case, the best decision is sometimes to simply accept the charges and pay the fine. This is especially true where the police have strong evidence of your offence and where the penalties are more minor. Our team can access the evidence that the police are planning to present in the case, so we can help you to assess this.

However, if your penalties will result in you exceeding the points limit or if they are more severe in general, it may be worth fighting the case. To do this, we will facilitate communications with the relevant parties on your behalf and explain the entire process that leads up to the court date, guiding you through each step.

Talk to Us

For more information on how JMW Solicitors can help with red light offences, speak to our team today. Call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill out an online contact form and we will be in touch at a time specified by you.

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