Red Light Runners and Amber Gamblers
Have you ever sat at temporary traffic lights that are on red for seemingly a long time and there is no other traffic in sight and you have thought ‘Should I just go? Who would know?’ Well stop right there! Did you know that jumping a red light even at temporary or portable traffic lights and even if there is nothing coming the other way is a chargeable offence? Temporary and portable traffic lights have the same status within the law as permanent traffic lights, so if you are caught by the police, you face 3 points on your licence and up to a £60 fine.
However, if the lights appear to be broken, i.e. stuck on red and you proceeded with caution, it is less likely you would be prosecuted, especially if you reported it to the police or the company that operates the lights (the contact number is usually on them). So, how could you gauge if the traffic lights were broken? Well, temporary and portable traffic lights often stay on red much longer than fixed ones, but if there is not a third set of lights (for a junction in-between) then 3 minutes is probably good advice. The temporary and portable traffic lights are normally set up in ‘vehicle detect’ mode, so as soon as a vehicle is detected they will activate themselves in the correct manner.
Whilst we are on the subject – don’t be an amber gambler! That means don’t put your foot down when the lights turn from green back to amber. The Highway Code says that the driver should stop unless they are so close to the light that to pull up might cause an accident. Racing the lights is not a good idea – it means that if an impact takes place, the resulting damage and injury could be much worse.
Drive safely everyone!