Red Light Traffic Offence When I Was Stopped at The Lights

Just received a failure to stop at a red light offence. I have also been provided two images of the incident.

I clearly remember,ber the day of the offence and remember the traffic light going amber and due to the road being wet I have braked but overshot the line. I was towing a light trailer and this is still behind the line. The first photo supplied by the traffic department shows my Car just at the stop line and the next photo shows it 1 car length onwards with the trailer behind the line, In both images the brake lights are on on both the trailer and the car. The time frame noted on the offence is 2's between shots. This appears to show me stopped the lights, although I have overshot the stop line.

Just wanting to know if I have any chance of successfully contesting the $391.00 fine? I feel I have done the right thing by stopping in a safe manner due to the road conditions of the day.

Not sure how to add images here?

TIA

Cheers Steve

closed Comments

  • +2 votes

    If you didn't keep going and you weren't blocking the intersection, I don't see why they wouldn't cancel it? But how do you prove that? A dash cam could help for next time at least.

    Either upload to imgur and provide links or upload into your personal OZB account and provide links (My Account > View > Files > Upload File).

    • +2 votes

      two images posted, you can see a 2sec difference between the photos, If i was still going through the intersection I wouldn't be just 1 car length further along in 2sec's.

      •  

        ellapsed time is 1.1s but I think your point still stands. It can't hurt to ask as your explanation sounds reasonable.

      • -4 votes

        the photos show that the red had been red for 0.57 secs when you crossed it and 1.67 secs when it took the 2nd photo, where you were clearly over the line.

        That would be some like
        start: 06:48:09.95
        stop: 06:48:11.05

        which gives you the elapsed time of 1.10 seconds as shown on the photo.

        If there was a pedestrian crossing there you would have been totally blocking the pedestrian crossing.

        You are in the wrong, just pay up.

    • +33 votes

      One car length into an intersection is still an offence for some road authorities, whether you continue through or are stopped.

        • +5 votes

          He tried to do the right thing, no harm was done, but he made a mistake and crossed the line.

          So do you punish for crossing the line the authority made, or forgive for trying not to and making a mistake without further consequences?

          And if you do punish, what is the purpose of it? Because it wouldn’t be to correct misbehaviour, as he was attempting to behave correctly. It wouldn’t be to make amends for a serious mistake, as the consequence was quite minor and without impact.

          And what else is the point of the line? It might simply be punishment for breaking a rule, that ignores the reason why the rule was made in the first place.

          But there is a mentality around that would say since that the line was crossed, nothing else matters and punishment is deserved. It’s the way Australian law is enforced, it has its reasons, but one of the unfortunate consequences is that many people never question it, and just blindly accept enforcement in whatever form the authorities choose

  •  

    Images from the offence notice. Take note of the time each photo was taken…..to me it shows me stopped.

    https://files.ozbargain.com.au/upload/34409/68406/dynamiccon...

    https://files.ozbargain.com.au/upload/34409/68407/dynamiccon...

    • +4 votes

      That road is barely wet lol

    • +37 votes

      Well from those photos you can clearly see that the light was red before you crossed the line, even if it was wet, you should be driving to the conditions and at a speed where you could safely stop before the line once the light turns amber, which is to be considered as a red light, as in you stop unless it is not safe to do so, like there's a semi trailer up your backside, not that you were going too fast to stop safely, better grab the credit card and pay your fine

      • +2 votes

        That doesn't make any sense because you can't reasonably be expected to know when a light will change from green to amber. Based on your comment the closer you get to the line the slower you will need to be going in order to be at a "speed where you could safely stop before the line once the light turns amber.

        This is a comment about your post not about the OPs.

        • -3 votes

          That doesn't make any sense because you can't reasonably be expected to know when a light will change from green to amber

          You should always be looking ahead, not just whats directly infront. If you notice that the lights has been green for a while, then the chances of it turning amber/red is high right?

        • +2 votes

          You shouldn't need to. If the light turns to amber, that is the signal that the light is going to turn red, given at such a time beforehand that a driver can be reasonably able to stop behind the line before it does turn red -even if, say, they are an inexperienced driver towing a heavy trailer in wet conditions…

  • +54 votes

    Amber runs for 3-4 seconds, how could you get that close to it turning red and needing to slam on the brakes…? Distracted or just not paying attention?

    That's a big intersection, you'd know you wouldn't have time to clear it that late in the amber light.

    Pics show you going over the line, when it had already turned red. Good luck fighting that.


    https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/2017-08-25/sl-20...

    57 Stopping for a yellow traffic light or arrow

    (1) A driver who is approaching, or at, traffic lights showing a yellow traffic light—
    (a) must stop—
    (i) if there is a stop line at or near the traffic lights and the driver can stop safely before reaching the stop line—as near as practicable to, and before reaching, the stop line; or
    (ii) if there is no stop line at or near the traffic lights and the driver can stop safely before reaching the traffic lights—as near as practicable to, and before
    reaching, the nearest traffic lights; or
    (iii) if the traffic lights are at an intersection and the driver can not stop safely under subparagraph (i) or (ii), but can stop safely before entering the
    intersection—before entering the intersection; and
    (b) must not proceed until the traffic lights—
    (i) change to green or flashing yellow; or
    (ii) show no traffic light.

    Maximum penalty—20 penalty units.

    So really, even running the Amber is an offense in QLD. And it's the same penalty as running a red.

    So, you can choose to dispute you ran the red, which also means you ran an orange… which is the same penalty

    • -11 votes

      Well under iii I have stopped and not entered the intersection, In the image there is a approx 4 car length no mans land where you are not hindering the intersection at all.

      • +6 votes

        And your reason for not being able to safely stop before the amber light is…?

        • -7 votes

          Well I did safely stop due to the conditions on the day, It may not have been entirely behind the line, but I did stop and did not enter the intersection and cause any danger to other road uses.

          • +18 votes

            @kiwimex: Yes but you had 3-4 seconds of an orange light. Why couldn't you stop before then?

            If you can't answer that on here, you can't answer that to a magistrate.

            • -4 votes

              @Spackbace: To be honest couldn't tell you without making something up. I will go and time the amber light to see how long it stays on for. could have been a number of reason…something in your side vision, looking down and checking your speedo, etc etc. or just slow gradual braking due to the wet road conditions.

              • +6 votes

                @kiwimex: It was driver inattention. Just adult up and admit it, and pay the fine.

                • +2 votes

                  @Spackbace: I already have admitted it, read all my replies, but to just saying it was attention doesn't prove squat. Theres so many reason you may not have reacted appropriately within the amber light time frame.

                  • -12 votes

                    @kiwimex:

                    Theres so many reason you may not have reacted appropriately within the amber light time frame.

                    Which you can't tell me without lying.

                    To be honest couldn't tell you without making something up.

                    So if you rear-ended someone, or if a pedestrian crossed the road at that instance, you'd be full of excuses?

                    Adult up ffs

                  •  

                    @kiwimex:

                    Theres so many reason you may not have reacted appropriately within the amber light time frame.

                    The only thing I can think of is where the traffic light is around a corner or behind a rise and the sign warning you of a traffic light up ahead has fallen off. If this isn't the case and you failed to stop in time then you were simply going too fast for the conditions, and there's no excuse you can make.

            • -1 vote

              @Spackbace: How do you know amber runs for 3-4 seconds? I've had many traffic lights run amber for much shorter, depending on the time of day and volume of traffic.

                • +5 votes

                  @Spackbace: Thanks for that, just found out VIC goes even shorter with some for 3 seconds. Regardless of timing, I don't think OP has much of a leg to stand on in this situation.

              •  

                @cell:

                amber runs for 3-4 seconds?

                This is common knowledge for motorists that like to run red lights.

              • +17 votes

                @cell: I program the timings for the light changes and in QLD (where the incident happened) it is a minimum of 4s amber and going up to 5s when at 70km/h and above.

                •  

                  @knobbs: interesting to know, I've always wondered whether anyone accounts for higher speeds for amber light given increased time / distance required to stop

                  • +5 votes

                    @k15866: The red light timings start to calculate speed/distance and use those. In QLD minimum red time is 2s and it goes up from there. The guidelines say to use speed limit and distance to clear the intersection to work out the timings for red. So say 70km/h posted speed limit and 45m to clear the next conflict in the intersection:

                    70km/h = 19.44m/s
                    45m/19.44m/s = 2.4s (round up for safety) would be the red time before the next signal goes green.

                    However we/I like to use slower speeds for turning, cause you ain't doing a left turn at 70km/h. Something like 35km/h for left and 45 or 50 km/h for right turns.

                    It is meant to be designed so that if entering on the very last possible moment of the yellow/amber they clear the intersection before the next group starts.

                • +1 vote

                  @knobbs: I'm super curious as to the timings for a 60kph zone, for err, research purposes :D

                  •  

                    @ankor: Amber will be 4s. Everything under 70km/h is 4s for amber

                    • +1 vote

                      @knobbs: Considering that in Qld it's illegal to go through a yellow light (unless of course it's not safe to stop), 4 seconds is pretty tight. Reaction time for a good driver is at least 3/4 of a second, that is before brakes are fully applied. At 60 km/h and in greasy or wet conditions such as OP you'd be doing well to stop in around 2.5 seconds. This gives you less than a second to spare. It's no wonder some drivers are caught out at times. Some would say drive to the conditions but then you'll be tailgated for doing even 5km/h under the speed limit making it even more dangerous if you have to stop.

                      •  

                        @tranter: if you are being tail gated you slow down to give more reaction time and lower your breaking distance.

                        • +1 vote

                          @antikythera: If you slow down the tailgating will only get worse and you'll probably be in a more dangerous situation. I know this stretch of road and intersection well.

                          As do others:
                          https://www.ozbargain.com.au/node/450917?page=1#comment-7170...

                          That Intersection at Kedron Park Hotel is huge! I often worry about getting fines in the Mail because tossers tailgating me & even though my Hybrid Camry stops on a Dime they won't. To be honest most people speed along that section (it's posted limit is 60kmh) hence I get Tailgated constantly whilst doing the Speed Limit.

                          •  

                            @tranter: Slow down before the intersection and enter it on amber. Anyone that are tailgating may then enter the intersection 0.5 sec after the red light.

                  • +1 vote

                    @ankor: Asking for a friend? ;)

                    •  

                      @theStinge: Well it's interesting to note. Sometimes I have someone so close and tailgating that I feel like it's not safe to stop.

                      Will just slow down to 55 or so in preparation for an amber or red instead and risk the whiplash injury I suppose :/

                •  

                  @knobbs: I heard someone say that they provide an extra second in the GC as opposed Brisbane due to driving behaviour, is this correct?

                  •  

                    @tryagain: For all the ones I do in GC I haven't made any adjustments. Haven't heard of anything like that

                    •  

                      @knobbs: Was a few years ago I heard it, but it was from someone relatively senior at TMR at the time though so maybe it has changed, or maybe he was just referring to specific intersections that had been issues.

          •  

            @kiwimex:

            I did stop and did not enter the intersection

            Come on man, there's a photo that clearly shows your rear wheels are past the line.

            https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/2017-08-25/sl-20...

            56 Stopping on a red traffic light or arrow
            (1) A driver approaching or at traffic lights showing a red traffic light —
            (a)must stop —
            (i)if there is a stop line at or near the traffic lights — as near as practicable to, but before reaching, the stop line;

            Case closed.

            Stop arguing. Own up to your mistake, learn from it and improve. We all make mistakes, at least your learned in a way where no harm was done to anyone else.

      •  

        I agree. You've met the terms of subpoint (iii).

      • +5 votes

        Do you see that solid white line that you cross in the photos, that's where the intersection starts and that's where you need to stop once the light is red, so yes, you have entered the intersection

    •  

      I don't think anyone gets done for running ambers, even though technically you can.

    •  

      The amber light goes for 3-4 seconds but that doesn't mean you have 3-4 seconds warning time to stop. Sounds like OP tried to do the right thing by stopping on amber but probably made a wrong judgement call in this case, with amber light possibly activating when vehicle was too close to the intersection. May not have been enough braking distance left to stop with trailer and greasy road.

      Can't really win in Qld either way.

      • +2 votes

        The amber light goes for 3-4 seconds but that doesn't mean you have 3-4 seconds warning time to stop

        How do you figure that?

        • -10 votes

          Think about it.

          • +6 votes

            @tranter: Great logic there, someone asks for your explanation on a topic, and your response is to say "think about it", does that imply you don't trust your own reasoning to be able to publicly share it, or it's just complete BS?

            • -4 votes

              @stueyh: The answer can already be found in my original comment. That's all I was implying.

              If it makes it easier for you to understand, I can revise this bit:

              …but that doesn't necessarily mean you have 3-4 seconds warning time…

              The answer can still be found in the latter part of my original comment.

              • +7 votes

                @tranter:

                that doesn't mean you have 3-4 seconds warning time to stop

                Your point is obviously not coming across clearly so maybe you should elaborate?

        •  

          https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/road-safety/driving-...
          "In an emergency the average driver takes approximately 1.5 seconds to react"

          I think this is what they are getting at. The implication is that you would have about 1.5-2.5 seconds to stop.

    •  

      An interesting read here with all the comments. In the UK, there's absolutely no case where you're allowed to encroach on the line at a red for any reason. Not even if an ambulance is flashing it's lights behind you are you allowed to cross the line on a red. You MUST stop behind the line. Seems it might be different here?

      • +4 votes

        No its not different, although we do have many drivers who encroach over the first line quite often. Orange lights are often seen as a "speed up" light, not slow down.

        I've seen many travel really slowly over the white line and cross a pedestrian crossing and stop fully blocking the pedestrian crossing, and there was zero excuse to do so… they just don't care.

        Just a couple of days ago a car was stopped at an orange light before an intersection as there was traffic blocking the road at the other side of the intersection. The light went red, traffic started to move on the other side of the intersection, and he just accelerated on red, driving straight through the intersection, while pedestrians had the green walk right of way. Impatience and self importance really.

  • +9 votes

    There is nothing to prove you were not going to continue through the intersection. Brake lights on means nothing really.

  • +5 votes

    As mentioned above the photos clearly showed red when you went through…

  • +5 votes

    Having your foot on the break pedal so the light is showing doesn't mean you stopped

    you moved a whole car length in 1 second through a red light

    • -3 votes

      (Having your foot on the break pedal so the light is showing doesn't mean you stopped) doesn't prove I carried on through the intersection either, Unless they have further photos!

      • +1 vote

        Check the wording of your legal offence, but entering an intersection under red can be the issue. Don't go to court on the technicality of not going the whole way through the intersection when that might be fully admitting an offence.

      • +6 votes

        Red Light

        You must not enter the intersection. If a white line is painted on the road, you must stop your vehicle behind that line and as near as practicable to it

      • +2 votes

        The fine isn't for "carrying on through the intersection", it's for entering the intersection. Which you did.

  • +4 votes

    I think you must have been going to try and run the light & then realised you couldn't and slammed the brakes on. Amber lights give plenty of warning if you chose to heed them.

    Having said that I think the brake lights clearly show you were trying to stop… I reckon you'd have a good chance of it being cancelled if you disputed it on those grounds.

    • -2 votes

      wasn't trying to run a red light at all…maybe lapse of attention…..but no intention to run the light.

      • +4 votes

        Unfortunately, "maybe lapse of attention", and "but no intention to run the light", don't mean much so I don't see why they would waive the fine.

        Amber lights are timed to provide road users sufficient time to safely stop their vehicles at the lights. It's up to users to judge road/weather/vehicle conditions and adjust driving behavior to suit.

        It's a shitty fine, but….

        •  

          Response time is a thing. Poor weather and car conditions add a little bit extra to consider. And sometimes you get the yellow just right on the cusp of the decision.

  • +15 votes

    Does seem a bit unfair to get a fine for so good luck with contesting it.

    Also don't expect anything on here apart from people blaming you / telling you to pay the fine and learn your lesson.

  • +1 vote

    I think you are hard pressed to fight this one…
    I think we need a poll?

  • +1 vote

    i once overshot the line and reversed back but the camera did flash

    received nothing though

  • +6 votes

    400 bux down the toilet

  • +11 votes

    Some rough numbers:
    Based on the timing between the photos, and assuming the vehicle is approx 5mt in length, then your AVERAGE speed between the photo's is about 16 km/h.
    Meaning you were traveling at some 32 km/h when the first photo was taken (assuming you were in fact stationary when the second photo was snapped)
    Reckon you are done for!

    • -1 vote

      5.5m long and about 8.5-9 with the trailer

      •  

        The trailer is irrelevant for Ocker's calculation. Ocker just needed the length of the car to calculate how far you had travelled. First photo on the line, second photo 5.5m past the line (length of car) in 1.1s.

        Don't have a dashcam? You could probably use that to help your case that you were trying to stop but with wet weather you breaked slower than normal to ensure you didn't slide.

    •  

      I did some rough numbers too. With the same assumptions I got :
      Starting speed = 32.7km/h
      and deceleration= 8.26m/s^2.
      Since 'average' stopping deceleration is 5m/s^2 for a car in the wet, then we know 8.26 is not possible - violating our original assumptions (either OP was NOT at a complete stop in photo 2, or the car moved less than 5m).
      https://www.qld.gov.au/transport/safety/road-safety/driving-...

      •  

        As I don't have a 3rd photo to prove otherwise and my recollection of the day, viewing the photos it appears I have moved about 5m in the 2nd photo.

  • +12 votes

    You are supposed to stop your whole vehicle behind the line.

  • +9 votes

    the next photo shows it 1 car length onwards

    It sounds like you ran a red light.

    • +3 votes

      A vehicle is deemed to have entered the intersection when the rear wheels cross the stop line. The two photos show this has occurred, and between the times of the two photos.

      It looks like an offence has occurred.

      •  

        Would the rear wheels of the trailer not come into play in this instance? Eg: Truck and trailer, or road train? splitting hairs I know but defiantly open for interpretation.

        • +5 votes

          Yeah what do you reckon? So a 25m long B-Double truck can sit in the intersection blocking traffic as long as the rear wheels of the second trailer are behind the line?

          It's definitely not open for interpretation. Your vehicle entered the intersection.

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