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You jumped a red light - i'm booking you!

milesemilese Posts: 1,233
edited January 2015 in Road general
On my way home tonight, I jumped a red light (filtered to the front, saw other lights go red, clipped in, went 10 yards over the line slowly whilst my light went green, so hardly the worst kind of red light jump, but yes I went through the red light).

I then spot a bif of light flashing from behind and a motorist pulls along side gesticulating. I wave my arm and carry on.

He pulls in front of me and puts his indicator on, cuts me up, and stops at the side of the road. I ride along side his window and thank him for cutting me up. He responds with something like "you jumped a red light, I'm booking you".

I carry on at my steady, gentle pace (rest day).

He now pulls alongside me again, shouting to pull over through his passenger window. I quickly scan him and his car. Doesnt look like a policeman or a police car. I ask if he is a policeman. He replies that he works for the DVLA and that he's booking me for jumping a red light.

I ask to see his police badge. He fumbles and drops behind me. I carry on my ride home.

He then pulls along side me, flashing a credit sized card towards me, insisting I pull over.

I continue to ignore him and carry, pointing out that he's just a strange man and why should I listen to him. He's driving a fairly average 52 plate car, clearly nothing with any authority.

I turn off on my usual route from a roundabout. He follows me, and pulls over, I keep going. He is getting angry. He is now following me quite close to my house, so I nip through a pedestrian footpath and ditch him. I like to think he is now really angry. I nip into my garage and quickly shut the door.

So, should I have stopped? Does he have any authority to do anything? What could he have done?

Whats the penalty for jumping red lights, if stopped by the police?

If there is a next time, I think I'll take him for a longer ride, before losing him.

What would you have done?
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  • Interesting question. I did a cursory search and found Wiltshire police advice for being stopped by an unmarked police car. They said do not stop for an unmarked car unless you are certain it is a police car. There must be a copper in uniform to carry out the stop. Any doubt and you should drive on to a public place with plenty of people before stopping such as petrol station that's open 24 hours, police station. If nowhere suitable drive into someone's driveway if they're in. You can always apologise to the homeowner later.
    It doesn't answer your question directly but I thought that was good advice if a plain car tried to stop you in a car or bike. It kind of implies police are the only ones able to pull you over. I know I got done by VOSA for a dull headlight, was still working just one brighter than the other but they still failed me. Anyway that time I was stopped by a copper because of the light and told to turn off to an industrial estate to be checked out. Police were there for drink driving (cue short copper failing miserably to get high enough to sniff the breath of. 6'5" bloke), VOSA for unsafe cars and customs and excise for red diesel in cars. It took a copper to pull me over.

    So based on that stop I'd guess only police can stop you. You were 100% right to ignore the pest with an ego so big they think they're the law. Perhaps you should have taken him to a police station and let it play out.
  • ForumNewbieForumNewbie Posts: 1,664
    Hi there, it sounds like the motorist was so angry he went a bit over the top as I would doubt he had authority to book you. He was probably annoyed at seeing another cyclist jump a red light and went a bit far rather than just rolling down the window and advise you that you shouldn't have jumped the red light.

    I would suggest next time, just unclip and wait for the lights to change. I'm a cyclist and it annoys me when I see other cyclists going through red lights as it does give us cyclists a bad name, and annoys other road users.
  • letap73letap73 Posts: 1,608
    milese wrote:
    On my way home tonight, I jumped a red light (filtered to the front, saw other lights go red, clipped in, went 10 yards over the line slowly whilst my light went green, so hardly the worst kind of red light jump, but yes I went through the red light).

    I then spot a bif of light flashing from behind and a motorist pulls along side gesticulating. I wave my arm and carry on.

    He pulls in front of me and puts his indicator on, cuts me up, and stops at the side of the road. I ride along side his window and thank him for cutting me up. He responds with something like "you jumped a red light, I'm booking you".

    I carry on at my steady, gentle pace (rest day).

    He now pulls alongside me again, shouting to pull over through his passenger window. I quickly scan him and his car. Doesnt look like a policeman or a police car. I ask if he is a policeman. He replies that he works for the DVLA and that he's booking me for jumping a red light.

    I ask to see his police badge. He fumbles and drops behind me. I carry on my ride home.

    He then pulls along side me, flashing a credit sized card towards me, insisting I pull over.

    I continue to ignore him and carry, pointing out that he's just a strange man and why should I listen to him. He's driving a fairly average 52 plate car, clearly nothing with any authority.

    I turn off on my usual route from a roundabout. He follows me, and pulls over, I keep going. He is getting angry. He is now following me quite close to my house, so I nip through a pedestrian footpath and ditch him. I like to think he is now really angry. I nip into my garage and quickly shut the door.

    So, should I have stopped? Does he have any authority to do anything? What could he have done?

    Whats the penalty for jumping red lights, if stopped by the police?

    If there is a next time, I think I'll take him for a longer ride, before losing him.

    What would you have done?

    You should have taken his number plate and reported him to the police for dangerous driving/physical harassment using a large vehicle. What you did wasn't right, however, his actions are not justified and potentially dangerous.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    DVLA keeps records - they don't enforce. Even if he was DVLA, he was a long way from home, as they shut all of their regional offices in 2013 and now work only from Swansea.

    I think I'm right in saying that you can only be stopped by the police - and it must be a uniformed officer, or one must be present. This guy sounds like a wierdo on some kind of fantasy wind-up.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    DVLA keeps records - they don't enforce. Even if he was DVLA, he was a long way from home, as they shut all of their regional offices in 2013 and now work only from Swansea.

    I think I'm right in saying that you can only be stopped by the police - and it must be a uniformed officer, or one must be present. This guy sounds like a wierdo on some kind of fantasy wind-up.
  • FlâneurFlâneur Posts: 3,027
    Another reason not to jump reds beyond all others, you now get weird people following you. Becomes more hassle than it is worth
    Stevo 666 wrote: Come on you Scousers! 20/12/2014
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  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    Hi there, it sounds like the motorist was so angry he went a bit over the top as I would doubt he had authority to book you. He was probably annoyed at seeing another cyclist jump a red light and went a bit far rather than just rolling down the window and advise you that you shouldn't have jumped the red light.

    I would suggest next time, just unclip and wait for the lights to change. I'm a cyclist and it annoys me when I see other cyclists going through red lights as it does give us cyclists a bad name, and annoys other road users.
    Agreed
    The motorist sounds like he was acting incorrectly. However so were you.
    His actions don't make yours any less ignorant and unhelpful to all cyclists.
    Why do you think it's acceptable for you to break red lights?
  • DVLA certainly has no right to stop or to prosecute anybody. You did the right thing he had no right to stop you, he could have been anybody. It's not for no reason that a police officer has to be in uniform to stop you.
  • ai_1 wrote:
    Why do you think it's acceptable for you to break red lights?

    Did you read his post? I didn't really.
  • Even Judge Dredd couldn't enforce the law out of uniform (no not that Sylvester Stallone nonsense, the 200AD one).
    However, you are a perp' so hand yourself in before he brings justice...
    prog61.jpg
  • Dippydog3Dippydog3 Posts: 414
    I would report him for cutting me up.
  • I would report him for impersonating a police officer
    I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    He has no right to stop you.

    Road Traffic Act 1988 Sec 163 (2) - A person riding a cycle on a road must stop the cycle on being required to do so by a constable in uniform.

    CHIMPS/Wibbles are allowed to stop and search and VOSA/DVLA can be accredited under Police Reform Act 2002 Sec 41.

    I'm not entirely convinced that DVLA has any rights and in any case - they have to be in uniform.

    The correct procedure for any uniformed person is to call for a uniformed/marked car.

    He has no powers as a citizen either as its not an indictable offence.
  • cougiecougie Posts: 22,512
    I'd have not jumped a red light in the first place and avoided the whole messy business. The guy sounds like a loon - but now he's a loon who is probably looking out for you.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    DVLA certainly has no right to stop or to prosecute anybody.

    The DVLA does have the right to prosecute - and they do so on a regular basis - but not for traffic offences.
  • I also get very annoyed when cyclists do what you did- last time I saw it (I was waiting at the lights on my bike myself) I shouted to the guy that the lights were still red- he had also cut up a queue of cars pulling away at another set of lights less than a minute before as well.
    They weren't so happy about that, but still happy enough to draught me for over a mile on my hybrid mtb with a mild(ish) cold before finally coming through on their road bike.

    It doesn't really matter that you didn't get in the way of other traffic (that's the main cause of fatalities down here) but if you continue across without stopping even if there isn't anything coming across your path it will annoy anyone else waiting at the lights.

    However, as already said only police officers can pull anyone over, although highways agency traffic officers can ask you to stop (i.e. to stop traffic ahead of an accident etc.) but unless you regularly cycle on busy dual carriagways then the second won't apply on a push bike :p
    It would be more dangerous to pull over for a random person than to carry on as already mentioned- who knows what could happen.

    Next time I'd still just unclip and wait though.
  • 1 cyclist breaking the rules = 'proves' that every cyclist breaks the rules to all non cycling drivers. Ergo this feeds the censored and predudice that we all have to suffer at the hands (wheels) of those ignorant motorists.
    Just don't make things worse by doing stuff like this, it saves you a bit of time which is precisly the arguement used by the drivers who cut you up because you're in the way, slowing their progress. I'm not interested in claims that it makes it safer, if that's the case you need another route or walk.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Imposter wrote:
    DVLA certainly has no right to stop or to prosecute anybody.

    The DVLA does have the right to prosecute - and they do so on a regular basis - but not for traffic offences.

    Almost anyone can instigate a criminal prosecution.
    http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1985/23

    Its how the RSPCA do it - for example.

    However, as an individual, its highly likely that the director of public prosecutions would take over your case and either continue it - or (more likely) cease it.
  • ai_1ai_1 Posts: 3,060
    1 cyclist breaking the rules = 'proves' that every cyclist breaks the rules to all non cycling drivers. Ergo this feeds the censored and predudice that we all have to suffer at the hands (wheels) of those ignorant motorists.
    Just don't make things worse by doing stuff like this, it saves you a bit of time which is precisly the arguement used by the drivers who cut you up because you're in the way, slowing their progress. I'm not interested in claims that it makes it safer, if that's the case you need another route or walk.
    Agree completely
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    edited January 2015
    A police officer doesn't have to be in uniform to try and stop a motor vehicle or in a marked police car. But, the law gives a defence by allowing you to state that you didn't know or believe it to be a police officer so didn't stop. If they were in uniform or in a marked vehicle, you would have no such defence for failing to stop. Cycling through a red light or more specifically failing to stop at a stop sign, carries a fixed penalty fine. It isn't a motor vehicle so cannot include points on a driving licence.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,207
    I would report him for impersonating a police officer

    But he wasn't? Nowhere did he say he was a police officer or imply it. He has said he is DVLA.

    And again a police officer does not have to be in uniform to stop a motor vehicle.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    The specific offence is committed by failing to stop for an officer in uniform.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    philthy3 wrote:
    And again a police officer does not have to be in uniform to stop a motor vehicle.

    I just got this (below) from the 'ask the police' website. Are you saying it's not correct?

    An unmarked police car can stop vehicles, but it must contain a constable who MUST be in uniform in order to carry out the stop.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    edited January 2015
    You are not contradicting each other.

    philthy3 is referring to police powers, you are referencing the requirement for the offence.

    different things.

    edit: but the response you got is badly worded to the point of being wrong.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 11,001
    Not sure it is 'different things', to be fair. philthy3 says that you don't have to be in uniform to carry out a stop - the official guidance (or at least the guidance on the N Yorks police site) seems to suggest otherwise. Either way, it's worth clarifying.
  • diydiy Posts: 6,680
    Yes - the answer you got is wrong. Police officer's power is granted by their status/warrant/certification etc and the statutes that protect/govern them. A person commits an offence when he fails to stop for an officer in uniform.

    There are two parts to this:
    1 - Does he have the right to stop you?
    2 - Do you commit an offence if you fail to stop?

    There can be circumstances where the answer to the above can be yes to 1 and no to 2

    Does that make sense?
  • The only thing a VOSA/DVLA agent can do is declare a vehicle unroadworthy, and would require a policeman to arrest someone if they drove off in an unroadworthy vehicle. Bascailly then can anul your MOT.

    This does not affect bikes, so they have no power over us at all, other than what any other member of the public has.
  • diy wrote:
    Yes - the answer you got is wrong. Police officer's power is granted by their status/warrant/certification etc and the statutes that protect/govern them. A person commits an offence when he fails to stop for an officer in uniform.

    There are two parts to this:
    1 - Does he have the right to stop you?
    2 - Do you commit an offence if you fail to stop?

    There can be circumstances where the answer to the above can be yes to 1 and no to 2

    Does that make sense?

    Clearly, when shouting George from the 'weeny is trying to pull over a villain they don't have to stop. Hence the car chase and shoot-out or punch up!

    i066543.jpg
  • type:epyttype:epyt Posts: 783
    To those holier than thou nitwits having a go at the OP for 'jumping' the lights, it's hardly crime of the century and so long as it doesn't inconvenience other road users or pedestrians then it's no big deal.

    I do what the OP did at certain junctions for no other reason than my own safety as the road narrows beyond the junctions and you risk getting run into the railings/parked vehicles as every driver dabs the accelerator to get in front before the road narrows.

    I also go through pedestrian crossings if everyone has finished crossing, albeit at about walking pace ... technically not correct but again, no inconvenience to anyone so no matter.

    As for the dude in the motor, it can be disconcerting when someone goes out their way to impede your journey in a car as you are the only one who will end up hurt. You can of course 'damage' the car and claim it was because they made you lose control due to their erratic driving. Just make sure you can get onto pavement sharpish before you get mowed down. And be willing to defend yourself in cleated shoes.
    Life is unfair, kill yourself or get over it.
  • BobbinogsBobbinogs Posts: 4,928
    type:epyt wrote:
    To those holier than thou nitwits having a go at the OP for 'jumping' the lights, it's hardly crime of the century and so long as it doesn't inconvenience other road users or pedestrians then it's no big deal.
    ...

    Yepp, bang on. For that reason I drove home today at 60mph through a 30mph zone since it was hardly the biggest crime I could commit and, by driving that fast, I could guarantee that no one was inconvenienced. I reckon that road usage will actually become a lot safer by everyone who uses it getting the right to pick and choose the laws we want to adhere to and then ignoring the rest. I swear, it is the only way I can see it working. Oh, and to that kid I ran over on the way home, sorry about that but Celebrity BB was on and I was in a hurry...and the sun was in my eyes anyway.
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