Traffic Penalty $457- Proceeded through Amber Traffic Light (NSW) - Cancelled

Hello Oz-mate's,

Sorry to bother you all today- I know everyone is busy ordering Mavic Pro, but I need your help in drafting my review.

Received a surprise gift from NSW Revenue to pay up $457 for running a red light. Based on past forums, I do know that we get stung for running an amber. Haven't had any offence on my name (Migrated to Australia 5 years ago) and I hope it stays that way.

My view is that the camera mistook me for traffic going straight(based on the time since red shows around 14sec) but I was turning left. Attached photos along with the dash-cam video and let me know if I have a chance.

Not sure if I can upload dashcam video in the review process or should I just go with the pictures ?

Link to pictures

Link to Dashcam Video

Update - Added penalty notice which might clear-up few confusions in the thread.

Link to penalty notice

My mate found this

What if I entered the intersection on a yellow (amber) light?Revenue NSW reviews all images and will only take enforcement action when it is clear that a vehicle has proceeded through a red light at an intersection.

Update 27/11/2019-14:00

As suggested by UFO in the thread, gave them a ring few minutes back. 1st Operator stated that the review was just closed and the fine still stands. Reason will be notified in email shortly(it takes 24 hours for the system to process it)

Asked her to check the photo and explain why it still stands, while she was reading the response email(which im yet to get) she said its a bit confusing and asked if she can transfer me to a senior or specialized team.

Senior operator had the same light bulb moment and she explained the camera went off because I was in the 24 hour bus lane while making the turn. Informed her but we can use the bus lane within 100m which she agreed but in this intersection its a 24HR bus lane and I'm supposed to make the left turn from lane 2 not from lane 1(Bus lane). She was very helpful and raised an internal re-check request for the fine issued which might be reverted to using bus lane offence. And if that happens I might have to use my dashcam video to prove that I entered the lane within 100m.

Attached review response.

Link to Review notice

Final Update

They cancelled the penalty and thanks all for the inputs. Also no kid was in the car, it was a request from my mate to add that comment. To test if masses view can be altered by adding a child to a story. No kids have been harmed.

Link to Final Review notice

Thanks & Appreciate your help :-)

Poll Options

  • 8
    Penalty should stand
  • 2
    Had time to stop safely
  • 4
    No time to Stop safely


  • Definitely will need to submit the dashcam footage, that amber wasn't 4.3s long

    As to whether you can fight the running of the amber, I dunno

    • So I'm I on the good side based on your expertise or still can be penalized for not slamming the brakes

    • Spackbace - 4.3 secs indicates what the yellow arrow duration is programmed for. 4 seconds is the minimum. This is so if used in Court the driver can't use the excuse that the duration of the yellow was too short.

      • All I could see from the video was that it was longer than 3s, counted not timed. The arrow doesn’t turn red until the lights are or of shot. The 4.3s would apply to the straight through lights, becuase the image indicates the red has been on for 14s already. we can’t see the straight through yellow light duration.

        • Not one part of your post made any sense.

          • @zeggie: Made sense to me.. basically the timings in the photo refer to the "straight ahead" traffic lights, nothing to do with the turn left light.

            • @chriise: The left turn light duration timing is specifically recorded on the photo. Look again.

              • @zeggie: I don't see any specific left turn light information? I see yellow light information, 4.3sec in both photos, indicating that info is for the "straight ahead" lights.

              • @zeggie: Red light duration and yellow light duration are recorded, doesn't say anything about which lanterns it applies to. Given it is ~14 seconds for the red light it can't apply to the left turn arrow.

        • -1 vote

          The question really is: why are you so entitled that you think it's OK to kick balls into your neighbor's yard like it's her fault for being there? Just because you're too lazy to take your kids to the park, you think she has no right to privacy in her own backyard.

      • I would have run the lights too, to stop in time OP really had to hit the breaks pretty hard. Also, it was a left turn, and the pedestrian light was red, so OP did not really endanger anyone with that manoeuvre. Only thing …. I am not the judge.

    • There's no debate here regarding the fine. The fine is simple, it's for running a red-light. The OP didn't run a red light, case closed.

      If they want to try the OP for a yellow light that is a completely different story with a different fine where the onus is on the state to prove that the driver had sufficient time to stop.

      Do your best to close the case with just the two photos. Don't send in the dash cam footage until absolutely necessary, it might incriminate you for the yellow light which will only be $9 cheaper.

  • Is it because you weren’t all the way over to the left ? I imagine that’s why the red light camera picked you up?

    Surely it doesn’t snap everyone if there’s a left turn arrow that enables green arrow and equally I didn’t think it snapped on amber?!

    • Yep, I think he ran over the sensor in the middle lane.

    • Yeah, I've seen a taxi trigger a red light camera before, doing the exact same thing.

    • I was thinking the exact same thing.
      My pet hate of bad drivers by the way.
      Legally, you need to move right over in to the left lane as indicated by the solid unbroken line near the stop line but you always see people straddling both lanes while they make a turn.

      As to the fine, I think you will be able to get it overturned

      • It’s a 24HR bus lane and I don’t want to get pinged by bus lane camera and no one enters that intersection going all the way to the left.

        • +3 votes

          Have a read of this article from NRMA

          Also rms says this

          What to do when turning left:

          Drivers turning left to enter a street, property or intersection can enter a bus lane up to 100 metres from where they intend to turn.  This also applies when entering a road with a bus lane.

          Turning left from the traffic lane next to the bus lane is NOT permitted and could result in your vehicle being hit by a bus travelling in the bus lane.

      • This is my pet hate too!

        Firstly I think Killerbale will get off for the running a red light fine but I wish there was a fine for turning left from the middle lane!

        I'm sick of people jumping into the middle lane in front of me when I'm going straight and they are turning left, it's bloody dangerous.

    • I've definitely triggered a camera flash turning left (on green arrow) when the straight signal was red. Never received the fine though. I assume someone reviewed the images before a fine was issued but perhaps this is not the case?!

  • +11 votes

    Dashcam 14/11 at 18.23
    Ticket 15/11 at 5.28

    0% chance

    • Yea that's a bummer as it does look like the same incident judging by the red car in both.

    • If you get a stat dec that your clock is wrong by a day by the same ammount of time - day hour and 5 minutes i think it could be evidence

    • You can see the camera flash in the video?? Dashcam footage is fine.

    • Dash cam looks to be set to GMT and I bet the other 5 mins is how far out the red light camera is. Probably easy enough to prove.(As the dash cam uses GPS for setting the time. I doubt the red light cam does)

      • You don’t thinks that the time on the camera is accurate? If it isn’t that’s he first thing that any lawyer would pick on to get out of a fine.

        • In all likelihood the dash cam would get the time via GPS (it has a GPS because it is showing the position) so it will be very accurate down to the second (down to the microsecond potentially but the dash cam probably doesn't maintain anything close to that level). It's just going to 11 hours behind local time if its time zone is GMT. The red light camera is probably not so accurate. 5 minutes is still quite a long time for say a quartz based clock drift though. It suggests it may not have been adjusted for a very long time. It makes you wonder when the rest of the system was last checked and/or calibrated. If I was appealing I'd be politely mentioning these things. Chances are they'd prefer to keep it out of court lest they have to review a bunch of tickets. IANAL though. I don't think a magistrate would necessarily care about 5 minutes in the time of an alleged offence but in light of the footage is does suggest there is a bigger problem with the system.

          • @Technics: Thinking about it I would t be surprised if there is a specification built into the system allowing for time drift. It could be that the particular unit is very nearly due for its calibration and is at the maximum deviation.

            But given it’s a digital system, there should be some way of updating the time to be accurate on a more regular basis.

  • +33 votes

    The photos both show the amber light illuminated and and shows you turning. This fine is garbage.

    The damcam video pretty clearly shows you could have easily stopped. I wouldn't submit it on this basis.

    • I could have slammed the brakes but had my 3 year old sleeping in the back, so decided to run it.

      • In terms of your video you didn't need to slam on the brakes. It's a left turning light because of the right turning light. You tried to gun it to make it don't blame your sleeping 3 year old for trying to gun it.

        I do think however, that the cameras are incorrectly set up. The details show the correct lane so you didn't set off the sensor of another lane and the camera photos that they sent you can see the amber turn light despite the red light being red for "14 seconds". Although not having your indicators on doesn't help.

        I would fight it but also use this as an opportunity to think about how you can be a better driver. Be more patient and use your indicators…

        • I’m not blaming my daughter for gunning it. I agree that it was my decision and it’s based on XYZ. I’m pretty sure the indicators were ON and the audio in the dash cam video confirms it.

          • @Killerbala: What it also says in your dashcam footage is "Red light camera ahead". 3yo in the car AND an audible warning from something in the car telling you of a red light camera. How much more incentive to be careful do you need?

      • I could have slammed the brakes but had my 3 year old sleeping in the back

        you could have also not accelerated into a yellow light.

        wouldnt use that argument at court

        • In all honesty he had stopped accelerating by time the light went yellow.

          • @universe: yeah, i looked at the video again, and can see your POV

            I timed the clock on the bottom right, it seems correct.

            There's something up with the light.

          • @universe: Someone with eyes.

            • @Killerbala: Yes you stopped accelerating but you were still slamming on the accelerator to make the light. Your video shows you were almost at 54km/h on a 60 road with such a short distance between the two intersections. You knew that light was short and the light turning amber after you hit the brakes is no excuse. I can't force you change but you should seriously consider your driving habits.

      • no excuse, hope the 3 yr old was retrained

      • maybe slow down and stop zipping around corners

      • Wrong fine, pls appeal! Make sure to remove some of the early part of the video, you just need to show you turned on yellow. Be careful in future though! I have been in similar situation before and usually they review and don't bother sending a fine!

        Turning on yellow is not always illegal. You can do it if not practical or safe to stop. When turning you may run into yellow often as you need to slow down to turn. This wouldn't have looked as bad if you were going straight!

    • +3 votes

      The damcam video pretty clearly shows you could have easily stopped.

      I disagree - the light changed only when he was ~3 car lengths back from the lights. (youtube timestamp 0:13)
      Within 1s of this, his car is entering the intersection. I dunno about your reaction time, but 1s is usually quoted as standard… It may have been technically possible to stop, but not realistic. OP did the right thing IMO.

  • Send it in.

    They'll watch the video (not yours) and see you have turned and clipped the straight ahead lane.

    Just as if you were in a turning lane and decided to go straight and triggered it.

  • I dont even think you need the video.

    Both the two traffic camera photos show the left arrow as amber.

    Cant run a red if its not red….

    Cut and dry.

    I wouldnt confuse the case by adding your video

    • Cant run a red if its not red….

      You have read the Australian Road Rules, yeah?

      • I think that the light changed at a point where he couldn't stop safely.

        • He/she slowed from ~53km/h to ~21km/h. Only needs an additional ~3 metres of braking distance at a constant 21km/h, OP was already braking so likely only needed an additional 1.5 metres of road to stop.

          OP could easily stop safely.

          Even if OP could not stop safely and goes 1-2 metres over the line, simply stopping and reversing will avoid a fine. The second pic won't show you proceeding into the intersection. They specifically look for this before issuing.

          • @zeggie: Totally agree, zeggie.

            Also add to the fact that the car OP was driving was a WRX and no doubt would have a much better brake package than a standard car.

            OP could absolutely have stopped the car within that space safely. Conditions were clear and dry. There was no truck or car for that matter chasing OP. This was purely a case of running the amber light.

            Amber light is a rising red, not a waning green…

            • @pegaxs: Agree could of and should of safely stopped, but the fine is for running a red, not an amber, and that is all the red light part of the camera does and can be used for.

              • @John Kimble: The ticket I am still researching as too the function of the cameras, but that is not the point I am covering.

                The point is, even removing the ticket from the argument, that OP most certainly had enough time to stop the vehicle. And I am gobsmacked with the amount of people on here that treat amber lights as a waning green, when it isn't. It should be treated the same as a red.

                The comment was; "cant run a red if it's not red" which is erroneous at best and misleading to say the least. The fact that this comment has gathered so many upvotes concerns me as to people's attitudes towards driving and traffic lights.

      • True, but that's not a Camera offence, that's one for the Police to match you.

    • I agree, no need the video. You turned left, both pictures showed an amber light turning left, ie, you never entered the intersection turning left on a red light. Whether you're able to stop safely on an amber, that's not something the camera could've picked up, ie, there is no evidence that you could have stopped safely in time.

      I suspect as others have said you may have clipped the middle lane sensors, and the "reviewer" was being lazy and not doing his job properly.

      Regardless, I actually think you do have a case to overturn your fine. $457 post tax is a lot of money.

      There's a lot of posts regarding whether you should've stopped because theortically it's safe to do so. Whether it's true or not it's irrelevant because the actual evidence they have did now show you broke the road rules, therefore you should fight this.


    • ummm while it does seem he should be fine from the video, you ABSOLUTELY can get a ticket for running an amber

    • Literally nothing you said was correct. Not even the 12 hour difference bit (hint: 1800 is 6PM). I'm really glad you don't have your license yet.