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Being Prosecuted on the back of reporting someone else?!

cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
edited August 2018 in Commuting chat
So a month or so ago a taxi went flying straight through a red light next to me, fairly standard stuff, on a quiet road at around 7am.

I don't like black cabs much and happened to have my gopro on at the time which clearly recorded the approach to the light, the light going red around 30m before he got there, and him going straight over the crossroads.

anyway, today I had a letter in the post saying i was being prosecuted for a 'traffic signal violation' at the exact same time as the taxi I reported.

I've rewatched the video I submitted a number of times, and have absolutely no idea what they are on about.

There are 5 sets of lights in the 3 minute video. 3 of them were red and I was clearly stopped at, and moved on when the lights changed, and 2 were green which I went straight through.

I'm not sure if they've sent me the wrong letter and meant to send it to the taxi, or if they are trying to do me for starting to pedal on amber (debatable) or waiting ahead of the solid white line which I had stopped at on one of the junctions.

Issue is there's no option to just call up the police and ask if it's a mistake, i've either got to pay £50 to make it go away or risk going to court over it.

Any tips? Insured via Yellow Jersey, not a BC member this year. feel like a letter from the right person would make it go away.

Will avoid sharing the video for now, but the above is all true.
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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,142
    cgfw201 wrote:
    So a month or so ago a taxi went flying straight through a red light next to me, fairly standard stuff, on a quiet road at around 7am.

    I don't like black cabs much and happened to have my gopro on at the time which clearly recorded the approach to the light, the light going red around 30m before he got there, and him going straight over the crossroads.

    anyway, today I had a letter in the post saying i was being prosecuted for a 'traffic signal violation' at the exact same time as the taxi I reported.

    I've rewatched the video I submitted a number of times, and have absolutely no idea what they are on about.

    There are 5 sets of lights in the 3 minute video. 3 of them were red and I was clearly stopped at, and moved on when the lights changed, and 2 were green which I went straight through.

    I'm not sure if they've sent me the wrong letter and meant to send it to the taxi, or if they are trying to do me for starting to pedal on amber (debatable) or waiting ahead of the solid white line which I had stopped at on one of the junctions.

    Issue is there's no option to just call up the police and ask if it's a mistake, i've either got to pay £50 to make it go away or risk going to court over it.

    Any tips? Insured via Yellow Jersey, not a BC member this year. feel like a letter from the right person would make it go away.

    Will avoid sharing the video for now, but the above is all true.

    I'd assume it would be waiting ahead of the the solid line.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,957
    That's really odd - and frankly, a little worrying that there is no way to find out more information. You should be able to ring the police force in question with the reference number to hand and ask for details, such as when, what time, etc.

    I assume that you waiting over the line, having broken the line when the traffic light was red, rather than going when it was green, and then waiting after it had turned red, having been unable to proceed?

    Was it an ASL line you broke?
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  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,670
    Initial reaction is that you inadvertently raised the issue to the wrong* person about the wrong* person. *Wrong being they know each other and they are hoping you go away quietly.
    Or, I've watched too many films.
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  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,743
    Crossing the white stop line when the lights are red is an offence, even if you stop just after it, if your video shows you doing that then yes they can prosecute you (likewise if you cross prematurely on red/amber). In which case your ire at the cabby is somewhat ironic, you’ve also heeded the traditional Arab saying of ‘before going seeking revenge, first dig two graves’ as you seem to have buried yourself here with your own evidence.
  • jgsijgsi Posts: 5,025
    Can you just clarify a few things.
    Who has sent you the letter?
    Is the evidence of your own alleged offence from a traffic light camera?
    Do you have opportunity to see any evidence prior to court?
    Are you going to defend yourself in court?
    £50 actually sounds cheap as a fixed penalty if that actually is the end of the matter?
    http://cartwrightking.co.uk/areas-of-pr ... -offences/ mentions £1000 possibilities.

    I've no connection with above, but is it worth considering taking proper advice from someone?
  • meanredspidermeanredspider Posts: 12,550
    The Rookie wrote:
    In which case your ire at the cabby is somewhat ironic, you’ve also heeded the traditional Arab saying of ‘before going seeking revenge, first dig two graves’ as you seem to have buried yourself here with your own evidence.

    Yup - or as The Bard put it “hoist with your own petard” (blown up by your own bomb)

    If you crossed the white line, you may as well just pay the fine.
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  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    So i just rewatched the longer version of the clip.

    The ASL I crossed was right at the start of the video, without the context. There was a bus in the bike box, I went round the bus and waited in front of it, about 1m in front of the white line, and waited there for around 30s before the lights changed.

    Is that worth a fine? Seems like I just found a cycling-hating copper?
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,642
    cgfw201 wrote:
    So i just rewatched the longer version of the clip.

    The ASL I crossed was right at the start of the video, without the context. There was a bus in the bike box, I went round the bus and waited in front of it, about 1m in front of the white line, and waited there for around 30s before the lights changed.

    Is that worth a fine? Seems like I just found a cycling-hating copper?

    Is there a feeder lane to the ASL?
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  • Stevo_666Stevo_666 Posts: 40,680
    Possibly a case of people who live in glass houses throwing stones.

    Or a spot of Karma?
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  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    cgfw201 wrote:
    So i just rewatched the longer version of the clip.

    The ASL I crossed was right at the start of the video, without the context. There was a bus in the bike box, I went round the bus and waited in front of it, about 1m in front of the white line, and waited there for around 30s before the lights changed.

    Is that worth a fine? Seems like I just found a cycling-hating copper?

    Is there a feeder lane to the ASL?

    Yep but that involves going up the left side of a left turning bus which isn't something I'm interested in doing.
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,642
    cgfw201 wrote:
    cgfw201 wrote:
    So i just rewatched the longer version of the clip.

    The ASL I crossed was right at the start of the video, without the context. There was a bus in the bike box, I went round the bus and waited in front of it, about 1m in front of the white line, and waited there for around 30s before the lights changed.

    Is that worth a fine? Seems like I just found a cycling-hating copper?

    Is there a feeder lane to the ASL?

    Yep but that involves going up the left side of a left turning bus which isn't something I'm interested in doing.

    The same bus that occupied the box?
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  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    yep. Anyway, all a bit besides the point, nobody got any recommendations of organisations that might be able to look at this and give a balanced pov?

    Anyone recommend CyclingUK for example?
  • bendertherobotbendertherobot Posts: 11,642
    cgfw201 wrote:
    yep. Anyway, all a bit besides the point, nobody got any recommendations of organisations that might be able to look at this and give a balanced pov?

    Anyone recommend CyclingUK for example?

    The question is relevant as to "what on earth could I have done."

    Try the CDF as in this case:

    https://www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk/ ... lex-paxton

    You can enter an ASL from a filter or the other side but you appear to have explained it as going on the other side because you didn't want to be inside a left turning bus. But, you appear to have been suggesting you didn't want to be on its inside because it was already in the ASL, so you knew it was? It's not really clear. If you're saying that you could not have known till you got there then you have a shout.
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  • thistle_(mbnw)thistle_(mbnw) Posts: 3,493
    Is there an address on the letter to write to and ask for the evidence/photo?
    Failing that, just ring/write to the local plod saying you've received a letter and think it's a scam, can they confirm it's genuine.
  • wolfsbane2kwolfsbane2k Posts: 2,957
    cgfw201 wrote:
    yep. Anyway, all a bit besides the point, nobody got any recommendations of organisations that might be able to look at this and give a balanced pov?

    Anyone recommend CyclingUK for example?

    The question is relevant as to "what on earth could I have done."

    Try the CDF as in this case:

    https://www.cyclistsdefencefund.org.uk/ ... lex-paxton

    You can enter an ASL from a filter or the other side but you appear to have explained it as going on the other side because you didn't want to be inside a left turning bus. But, you appear to have been suggesting you didn't want to be on its inside because it was already in the ASL, so you knew it was? It's not really clear. If you're saying that you could not have known till you got there then you have a shout.

    IANAL, but this was going to be my suggestion. . If you passed a bus to enter the ASL, only to then find that you were unable to use the ASL as the bus was filling the box, and therefore options were to
    1) proceed past the white line to ensure that you were visible to the bus driver
    2) stop right in front of the bus, if there was space, but within the "blind spot",
    3) wait beside the bus, at the distance you had filtered passed, and therefore likely in the blind spot of the driver, and blocking drivers of vehicles coming the other way....

    1) is the safest, and i believe has been successfully argued before. But check with the CDF.
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  • Who sent the letter? Was it the Police?
    Is it a fixed penalty notice with the threat of prosecution if you don't pay or is it a wind up by the taxi company?
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    Who sent the letter? Was it the Police?
    Is it a fixed penalty notice with the threat of prosecution if you don't pay or is it a wind up by the taxi company?

    looks like a legit police letter. found a number to ring for traffic police, trying that in the morning.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,981
    Could you have taken primary behind the bus? It seems to me that overtaking a bus without knowing it's safe beyond is risky. Also if you don't knew whether you can stop before the line is laying you open to sanction if evidence of your action is handed to the police with a nice bow. Having done that manoeuvre you've gone and handed evidence to the police.

    AFAIK the police have to review the complete video evidence in case of other offences caught in the recording. I heard they need the unedited video to use it in a prosecution. The risk of the complainant getting prosecuted is certainly present with video evidence. I've heard it discussed on another forum before now.

    Is £50 not cheap enough to make it go away?
  • N0bodyOfTheGoatN0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 4,127
    If I've understood the circumstances, I'd argue that the bus driver forced your misdemeanour by failing to stop at the correct line for motor vehicles, encroaching into the ASL that is there for cyclists. It's something I regularly see around Southampton and I don't believe that it is just a local issue for a second, it's another case of some motorists feeling they are above the law because they pay road tax.
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  • figbatfigbat Posts: 680
    “Forced”? Arm up the back? Gun to the head?
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  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Sounds very dubious.

    I reported a driver who was ahead of the second ASL and texting. In the video I went ahead of them and then turned around to them to point out I could see them texting only for them to argue they weren't doing anything wrong!

    It was very clear I was ahead of the stop line in this video - got confirmation within 24 hours they'd sent a notice to prosecute to the driver. Nothing said to me about my positioning.
  • dinyulldinyull Posts: 2,962
    If I've understood the circumstances, I'd argue that the bus driver forced your misdemeanour by failing to stop at the correct line for motor vehicles, encroaching into the ASL that is there for cyclists. It's something I regularly see around Southampton and I don't believe that it is just a local issue for a second, it's another case of some motorists feeling they are above the law because they pay road tax.

    Just why? It's this MGIF attitude that almost always causes friction between drivers and cyclists.

    Drivers acting like c*ckwombles wanting to get past, only to join a queue of stopped traffic. And cyclists must squeeze by a car/ bus only for them to overtake as soon as the lights turn green.
  • tangled_metaltangled_metal Posts: 3,981
    dinyull wrote:
    I started making the point that certain circumstances allow you to be in the box between the first stop line and the asl. If a vehicle is in that box then why would you try to get in there too? Better to take a primary further back which helps you to be seen and stops you breaking some regulation or other exposing you to a ticket.

    IMHO whether or not the motorist the op reported gets done the op is bang to rights here.

    Why do cyclists think the best and only position they should be in at lights with traffic is at the front? So you filter past and get into an asl box. The truck at the front could see you right? Are you really sure?

    I do filter personally but only when I am confident it's safe. I feel I have a good stiff preservation streak and can spot when it's safe. However any doubt I sit further back and take my space in the road, clear to all that I'm here.

    It is shocking how little close up visibility trucks and buses have. Vans too. Certainly many can't actually see into the asl box at all. How safe are they really?
  • pastryboypastryboy Posts: 1,385
    Sometimes you approach an ASL from the right only to find it's blocked. You can't stay on the right because traffic will be approaching so you're forced to go around what's blocking you and be in front of the ASL. Happened to me many times.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,743
    Indeed, the defence of 'necessity' is available, you merely have to show that it wasn't reasonable for you to know the cycle box was blocked and when you found out crossed the stop line in order to protect yourself. If there was no ASL and no reasonable expectation of being able to stop legally in front of the bus then the defence wouldn't work in my opinion. Feeder lanes are a red herring now of course with the latest legal changes, cycles can now cross a solid white line to enter the cycle box.
  • frogonabikefrogonabike Posts: 157
    apreading wrote:

    That's interesting. Still feels like sometimes once you're up there the safest thing to do is put yourself in front if you have no other safe options. Also I read the bit about blocking as when motorbikes and scooters block the entrance to the ASL - this annoys the hell out of me!
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 669
    Spoke to traffic police this morning, just written to them as that's the process. Basically have the option for them to re-review it and say if it's still a £50 fine for whatever it is i have haven't done wrong, or retract the fine, both of which can be done before it goes to court.

    Will see what they say, having reviewed it 100 times all I can say is that if it's a £50 fine for anything I did then we're all massive criminals.

    Will post the vid either way once resolved.
  • kingstongrahamkingstongraham Posts: 10,081
    If I've understood the circumstances, I'd argue that the bus driver forced your misdemeanour by failing to stop at the correct line for motor vehicles, encroaching into the ASL that is there for cyclists. It's something I regularly see around Southampton and I don't believe that it is just a local issue for a second, it's another case of some motorists feeling they are above the law because they pay road tax.

    If you didn't see the bus approach the ASL, you can't know if it was legal or not. If the lights change while the bus is already there, it is legal.
    and then the next thing you know
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