Cop Personally Delivered Red Light Penalty to My House [SA]

A few days ago my wife ran a red light. I wasn't there but from what she described she was very lucky there were no injuries or property damage. It was caught on camera. She feels (rightly) terrible about it.

So we've been expecting a letter to show up when today a cop knocked on the door. I'm WFH but my wife isn't. He said he was looking for me (car registered under my name) and wanted to know who was driving. He had the photos printed out. Once I explained what happened and how we're not going to contest the fine he said to expect a letter and then left.

So… what the heck? Is that normal? The only reasons I can think of are:

  • He was going to give me a good talking to about reckless driving if I had said I was the driver.

  • He knew that I wasn't the driver based on photos that he didn't show me, and wanted to ask me who the driver is in a confrontational way to get the truth.

Anyway, that's my story. I hope you enjoyed it.


  • +21

    Nice to see someone who admits it and accepts responsibility when they make a mistake. Fortunately it was a mistake that didn't have more serious consequences.

    • +6

      Yes I too was shocked that they accepted fault and didn't have some 'reason' for running a red light and nearly killing someone else.

      • +6

        Well thanks chaps although it seems certain people will still find fault when you try to do the right thing.

        • +3

          Take it as a compliment! As just about every other red light post on here claims they are not at fault for some reason like the light changed too quickly.

  • +10

    Anyone else think there is more to this story than "she just ran a red light"

    • +2

      We'll find out when the expiation notice arrives.

      • +7

        PM your name, address and license number and I will make sure you get it.

        • +15

          1 OzBargain Drive

    • +1

      this is how your usual run of the mill hit and run investigation starts

      • wonder if OP has been outside to look at his car

        • What's more likely is OPs wife caused and accident without incurring any damage to her car, and now someone wants their money. However this should be investigated by the insurance company, except either the person doesn't have insurance, or they know the cop and he's offered to do it for them. Also insurance company reps are lazy as, or incentivised not to investigate things that aren't saving the company money, and this would be incurring the company costs.

    • +1

      This is what I think too, tbh, or at the very least Police think so.

      Its not typically normal for police to come to your house, why would they when everything is in the letter and the process is pretty straight forward. Why spend the time/resources/etc for a simple fine. You also could live far away of have a mailing address different to your staying address.

      Also nominating someone is in the letter too. This is on purpose because the letter stipulates what happens if you lie etc. This way Police/Revenue Office is covered if you lie and can easily take you to court. A police officer would actually murky all that, would have to compare to a video he was taking or notes etc and doesn't make any difference to what OP would do on the letter anyway.

      Also while running a red light is bad, so many tickets get automatically sent on the daily, not like they're going to knock on every persons house who got a ticket. Besides, you haven't actually got a fine yet, until you do, you haven't actually been in trouble for anything yet (I am not a lawyer). Why wouldn't they check after you got the ticket.

      Did he ask for your drivers licence to confirm ownership of the car? And ensure you're not just random person?

      I just feel like they may think (or thought) something was up, like they thought you might be someone else in the system thats been dodging multiple tickets, or a number plate similar to a stolen vehicle in the photo or your car is similar to another car that was reported in the area around the same time. Or the running the red light ended up having something bigger happen to another person involved.

  • -1

    I can't believe you assisted police with an investigation into your wife..

    When you tattled on your wife your not just telling on her, your telling on yourself..
    …because by tattling to the police officer, your really just telling him 'I'm a tattletale'.

    Cindy from The Brady Bunch wouldn't be such a tattletale.

    • +2
    • +10

      I can't believe you assisted police with an investigation into your wife..

      I know 100's of divorced blokes that would give their left nut for the opportunity

      • +2


    • +2

      I can't believe you assisted police with an investigation into your wife..

      As the registered owner you are required by law to nominate the driver.

    • +2

      It was an investigation into his vehicle technically.

      Is the reason that you are suggesting he should not have done what he did, that it may disadvantage him and his wife? Instead he should have done what exactly? Pleaded ignorance? Provided disinformation? Refused to answer? What's the objevtive? To waste police officer's time? To avoid accepting responsibility? I'm not sure I understand this mentality.

  • +5

    Was this a fixed red light camera? If so, it's weird the cop goes round to your house in this manner. It's usually just processed by a civilian team and then the letter is sent to you.

    • +8

      Most likely, they're intending to charge the driver with something more serious.

  • +9

    something else has happened. your wife is not giving the full story.

  • +10

    The officer was considering pursuing a Negligent/Reckless driving charge depending on the circumstances.
    Talking to the officer may or may not have helped your wife - wait and see what the letter says.
    I tend to think that if the constable had decided to charge her after talking to you, he would have asked to speak to your wife as well.

  • +3

    Check your driver's licence and make sure it hasn't expired. Same thing happened to me, turned up with red light camera infringement and asked if I was driver, I said yes and they said also ticket for driving without license… Wtf

  • +5

    No fishing here red light camera and there's photos.

    So many people here even with the evidence are advising to not take responsibility for ones actions.

    Thankyou for being straight with the police officer. Yes if it was a different circumstance you might get legal advice but in this case you behaved correctly.

    • +1

      No fishing here? Cops don't normally go to peoples houses over things like red light cameras or speed cameras. Normally it is just an infringement that comes in the mail, at that point you can pay the fine, contest it or nominate the person who was driving it.

      Cop is absolutely fishing for something here unless they had nothing better to do but pick a random red light infringement and decide to deal with it personally.

    • +3

      If that's your attitude why open the door?

      "Who is it?"


      "(profanity) off I'm not here"

      Source: seen this work for years on end

      • I saw a bit of Magnum Force last night and this happens almost word for word

    • +5

      Sounds like that isn't your first rodeo.

    • +9

      No kidding. You must have read the post. Well done you.

  • +4

    Hey, mr-incredulous!
    Could you post again when the dreaded letter arrives?
    I’m super-curious to know what happens.

    • @mr-incredulous

      You really need to keep us posted on this, it really is a fringe case that someone would do that, and letting us know would increase the tome of knowledge that is the OB forums (not even being sarcastic)

  • +1

    If the photo was from a red light camera, you would have directly received the fine.

    Its possible, the photos were from a dashcam video that someone reported. Police was there to investigate and since you accepted it, they can issue the fine. Prob. If you just have said I don't know who took the photos and when they were taken, they wouldn't have any cause to fine you. I may be wrong though.

    • +2

      Good thought but nah they are from the camera. Wife saw the flash when it happened and that intersection has a camera. We knew we were toast before talking to the cop.

  • +2

    My wife admit that she did something wrong but she's not at home I explained to the police based on my understanding.

    What's the use of lawyers here? Admitting to ones mistake is a way of life. What is there to hide? Can someone tell me is there a special trick to living in Australia with the help of lawyers?

    • don't hand out information to police officers unless you are required to by law, that's it

  • +2

    I wasn't there but from what she described she was very lucky there were no injuries or property damage.

    So how bad was her driving exactly? You say she ran a red light but it sounds like something more has occurred…

  • +3

    He wanted to know who is driving because they are investigating. Someone probably reported the incident to the police. She may be charged with reckless and dangerous driving.

  • +1

    SA is a police state, hence the helicopters everywhere at all hours.

  • +6

    This sounds like a case for the fixated person's unit.

  • All I can think of is that the number plate wasn't clear, so they were looking for you to confirm it was you.

  • +1

    Do people still answer their front doors?

  • Bit strange, but my guess was that it was considered a serious enough offence that it was flagged for further investigation (i.e. front up and ask wtf and get a feel for whether the driver might be a future danger) either because someone made a complaint in addition to the camera going off, or because it could be seen from the pictures that there was a near miss involved etc. Or as you say, a good old telling off to make sure the driver understood the seriousness of it.

  • +2

    Pretty sure it will be more than a red light ticket. red light ticket will be sent out via mail, When the police member comes and knocks at your door, it will be something more serious and the police thanking you for you admitting your wife's crime and saving their time.

  • +1

    Your wife lied to create an alternate reality for you

  • +1

    Maybe he wanted to give it to your wife?

    • Cop that.

  • Maybe your wife was picking her phone up off the floor when she went through the red light, so they couldn’t identify the driver (or something similar). BUT, they usually just send the infringement notice to the registered driver and let them complete a Stat Dec to declare who was driving at the time (or just accept the fine and points for them. i.e.Stupid option).

  • So what was the penalty?

    • +1

      Australia Post doesn't deliver on Sunday, or most days ending in "y".

      • +1

        That’s true, but

        Cop Personally Delivered Red Light Penalty to My House [SA]

        I’m wondering what penalty the cop delivered.

  • You dont have to say anything , including your name or address.

      • +1

        I would like to actually see the legislation because your links are pretty wishy washy on the subject. Also in NSW, it clearly is not the case in general (

        There are definately specific times you must give your name and address, such as driving a car or you are suspected of a crime, but generally I don't think you have to. You are always entitled to speak to a lawyer before giving any information to police - of course they can detain you until you speak to your lawyer.

        • As a follow up,

          "Part 3 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW), outlines when a person is required to disclose their identity after being approached by police.

          Pursuant to section 11(1), a police officer may require a person to disclose their identity if it is suspected on reasonable grounds that the person may be able to assist in the investigation of an alleged indictable (serious) offence, because they were in the vicinity of the alleged incident.

          Furthermore, an officer may require a person to disclose their identity if the officer proposes to give a direction to the person in accordance with Part 14 for the person to leave a place (‘a move on direction’).

          An individual is required to reveal their identity in all of these situations, and failure to do so, or providing a false name or address, can result in a fine of up to $220, pursuant to section 12 and 13 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW).

          Other situations where the police can require you to provide your name and address include:

          When you are driving a car and are suspected of committing a traffic offence or refuse a breath test;
          When you are suspected of committing an offence on a train or railway property;
          If police suspect that an Apprehended Violence Order has been made against you;
          If you are under 18 and suspected of consuming alcohol in public, and
          When you have been placed under arrest."

  • +3

    A few days ago my wife ran a red light. I wasn't there but from what she described she was very lucky there were no injuries or property damage. It was caught on camera. She feels (rightly) terrible about it.

    Agree with all of the others who are saying there is something more to this, e.g. potentially pursuing a reckless driving charge.

    This is based on her description of her being "very lucky" that there were "no injuries or property damage". Not trivialising running a red light, but you have to have been doing something pretty stupid (more so than just missing the red by half a second) to actually be concerned that you could have caused an injury or property damage. Definitely something your wife isn't telling you.

    FWIW, two sides of the "talking to cops" argument, this isn't a murder case and probably isn't particularly interesting to the cop. The fact that you were upfront and respectful meant that you'll probably just get the red light fine in the mailbox and nothing more serious. At the end of the day, cops are human and are usually pretty lazy. They don't want to do the huge amount of paperwork necessary unless you've given them a reason to put you back in your place by being a (profanity) to them. Being pleasant goes a long way, I've been pulled over for speeding (< 10km/h over on a highway), admitted when they told me what they saw and got off with a bit of a talking to rather than a fine.

  • Maybe cop coincidentally witnessed it at the time so felt they wanted to personally follow it up.

    I think they try and get cops to do a certain amount of community engagement as well, i.e. actually getting out and meeting people. Perhaps not the best introduction, but I kind of like the idea that police aren’t completely anonymous.

  • +1

    but from what she described she was very lucky there were no injuries or property damage.

    It's probably more than just the red light fine he is after.

    If there was a near miss then a careless or dangerous driving charge might be coming.

  • Had two cops turn up to investigate this incidenta while back. Rego had lapsed and someone drove into that car. Could also be part of their training.

  • +2

    probably wanted to meet your wife

  • +1

    Should have given a valid excuse such as: Thank you for coming to my place in relation to this matter, the driver of my vehicle had a medical emergency.

  • +3

    OP I hope this wasn't your wife

    Never answer questions, only your name and address in the few circumstances you are required to. I like to provide those using Auslan to keep them on their toes.

  • +1

    He saw that the car was registered to a man, but looked like a woman. He wanted to invite you to his cross dressing parties.

    When he found out it was your wife he left disappointed.

  • +1

    It's been a few days, has the wife told you the truth yet?

  • +1

    He was after your wife

    Is she having an affair?

  • Lucky you

  • I don't think he's done anything personally but it is very strange for them to come to your house and ask about it. A red light offence is not a criminal act and if it was caught by a camera it has absolutely nothing to do with the police.

  • Did you thank the cop for his courtesy?

  • You could ring the police station asking for clarification around the usual process?

  • “I don’t answer questions”

  • +1

    The cop was gonna give your wife something else entirely instead of the fine.

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