RLJ > Straight to summons

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Pushin on
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Joined: 26 Jul 2012, 7:19pm

RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby Pushin on » 26 Jul 2012, 8:03pm

Alright guys, I'm looking for a bit of advice or information.
Today I got pulled for RLJ: 4 way crossroads with lights, I ride over the line and stop in front of all the cars. I know this junction, and after the traffic from the right finishes, it's my lane's turn. Right hand traffic stops, I check to see that their lights have gone red and go on my merry way.
Immediately after I clear the junction I get pulled by a cop car that was in the queue.
He said I went through a red, I replied that I hadn't just blasted through and thought maybe we could discuss it like humans. His colleague had other ideas though. Her opening line was to give me the whole "you do not have to say anything" line and start taking my details for a summons.
I wasn't really given any information, just told that a summons should turn up in the next 2 months, and that failure to appear will lead to an arrest warrant being put out.
I fully accept that I broke the law and I'm not looking for help on how to "get let off", but I'm just a bit worried about the whole court summons:

What kind of punishment am I looking at? Assuming that it's just a fine and I plead guilty immediately, how much is it likely to be?
Do I have to turn up to court to plead guilty? Or can I just plead guilty by post, pay the fine and get it over with?
Any idea why the 5-0 would elect to not issue me with a £30 FPN?
Will I get points on my licence?

Basically, what happens next?

snibgo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby snibgo » 27 Jul 2012, 3:34pm

Welcome to the forum, but sorry about the circumstances.

In case you didn't know, the offence occurs when crossing the white line.

You may not get a summons. If you do, read it very carefully in case they also accuse you of something else. I don't know why they didn't do a FPN.

I think you can ask the magistrates to punish you as for a FPN, in which case it could be (IIRC) £30. They will probably give you the opportunity of pleading guilty by post. I think pleading guilty will give you a fine, costs and victim surcharge of about £200, and probably depends on your income.

A great forum for traffic offences is http://forums.pepipoo.com/index.php?showforum=5 , although it is mostly for drivers.

iviehoff
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Joined: 20 Jan 2009, 4:38pm

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby iviehoff » 27 Jul 2012, 4:10pm

Pushin on wrote:Will I get points on my licence?

No.

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby thelawnet » 27 Jul 2012, 5:25pm

Were you perhaps not riding when you crossed the line and were therefore a pedestrian rather than cyclist at that point?

Just to add would do nothing, they probably won't do anything.

thirdcrank
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Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Jul 2012, 6:16pm

Just dealing with the procedural questions you pose:

As has aready been said, read everything you receive very carefully.

You do not have to attend to answer the summons (and if you completely ignored it the wheels would just grind on anyway.) If you were told that failure to attend would lead to an arreast warrant afaik, that is wrong. The court has no power to compel your attendance. If you must attend, the paperwork will make that clear.

Fines are pretty much according to guidelines, but a polite reply can't do much harm. The section of the paperwork dealing with financial circumstances is important because if it's not completed, the court must assume you are earning top whack.

On a procedural note, this is an offence which requires the service of a notice of intended prosecution either at the time, when it may be verbal, or within 14 days when it must be in writing. Different forces handle this differently but the basic wording is that you will be reported for consideration of the question of prosecuting you for .....

So, in answer to your question about what happens next, you may get an NIP if you haven't already had one.

There's a lot about NIP's on many solicitors' websites because it's something that causes a lot of people to turn to the internet for advice. For this offence no NIP = no prosecution unless there has been an "accident." It's a loophole of sorts but one which police and prosecutors should be alert to.
=======================================
PS If you want proper legal advice, go to a solicitor.
Also, what I've said applies only to these cirumstances eg ignoring some summonses can result in the issue of an arrest warrant

wrangler_rover
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Joined: 19 Aug 2007, 8:33pm
Location: Welton, near Lincoln

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby wrangler_rover » 27 Jul 2012, 8:47pm

This is not a police knocking thread.
As I see it, the OP knows the junction and knows the sequence of the lights and hence got a smart getaway across the junction to make his crossing of the junction safer.
The first police officer stopped him, the OP tried to reason and then the second police officer became heavy handed with "Anything you say etc."
If he had charged across the junction through a red light without slowing, then he deserves to be fined.
I believe common sense is called for here, the OP knows he was technically in the wrong, the police officer saying "Don't do it again" would have been a better result.
It sounds as it the second police officer was "The law is the law and it is a matter of black and white, no grey" type.
If the OP does end up getting fined for the offence, it could make him resentful of the police, imagine if he was driving his car and was waiting at a red traffic light, a police car then came rushing up behind him with blue lights and siren blaring. Would he have to wait for the lights to change to green? because he would know from past experience that going through a red light is an offence that he had previously been fined

thirdcrank
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Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby thirdcrank » 27 Jul 2012, 9:14pm

Pushin on wrote: ... I replied that I hadn't just blasted through and thought maybe we could discuss it like humans. ...


To some extent it depends where the quotation marks go:

I replied "I haven't just blasted through" and thought "maybe we can discuss it like humans"


Isn't the same as

I replied "I haven't just blasted through and I thought maybe we could discuss it like humans."


I'm probably very old-fashioned but my basic reasoning was generally that if it was worth stopping somebody, then it was worth taking their name and address, unless something emerged that hadn't been apparent (eg the lady screaming in the back is giving birth - something I never encountered.) I'd like to think that I'd not be influenced by the outcome of an attitude test, but others may not feel the same.(I did once warn two cyclists who ignored a traffic light in a busy town centre when I was sitting there in a marked car but that was at time when it wouldn't have been expected that I would report somebody for a summary offence.)

As I've posted before, it's not particularly easy to prove traffic light offences on the evidence of witnesses, unless the offence is blatant. It depends on being able to convince a court that it's possible to watch several things at once - the vehicle, the light, and the position of the STOP line. It's easy, of course, but even easier to raise a reasonable doubt. This means that the typical offending by drivers (what used to be called amber gambling) is harder to prove than the blatant offending more typical of cyclists ignoring lights.

aprildavy
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Joined: 3 May 2010, 11:48am

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby aprildavy » 27 Jul 2012, 9:51pm

This isn't knocking the OP, but
As I see it, the OP knows the junction and knows the sequence of the lights and hence got a smart getaway across the junction to make his crossing of the junction safer.


I ran a cyclist down when he did that "that smart thing". He mistimed his approach to the lights and he thought he could get across when our lane was red. He overtook our line of traffic on the right (on the other side of the road) and as the lights turnded to green I moved off. He swerved sharply into my path to avoid traffic coming towards me turning right. He was lucky not to be seriously hurt. I was lucky there were plenty of witnesses (other cyclists too). It's really really simple. Obey the highway code. If you do not, you run the serious risk of injury or worse. If you don't have the skill or confidence to negociate a junction according to the highway code - get off and walk. Sorry.

Having said that the plice are a fickle bunch. Some days they can be really helpful, or other days they can be real **** - like when I was sworn at and shouted at by two policeman for cycling on the pavement beside a dual carriage way when I was 12.

Hopefully nothing will arrive in the post - but please think about the way you cycle - for your own safety. That's why the police stopped you.

irc
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Location: glasgow

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby irc » 27 Jul 2012, 11:02pm

I think it's a bit harsh though if the OP missed the marked police vehicle in the queue what else did he miss? If he saw the police and didn't stop at the lights he has to accept the consequences.

theenglishman
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Joined: 10 Jun 2012, 5:01pm

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby theenglishman » 27 Jul 2012, 11:41pm

Go to the local nick and ask them? They should have it down as I think the officer has to finish the paperwork by the end of their shift? At least they'll be able to tell you the procedure.

LollyKat
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Location: Scotland

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby LollyKat » 28 Jul 2012, 10:40am

theenglishman wrote:Go to the local nick and ask them? They should have it down as I think the officer has to finish the paperwork by the end of their shift? At least they'll be able to tell you the procedure.

No - don't remind them about it! According to TC they should issue a NIP within 14 days; they may have second thoughts about it and you may get away with it this time

irc
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Location: glasgow

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby irc » 28 Jul 2012, 11:06am

LollyKat wrote:
theenglishman wrote:Go to the local nick and ask them? They should have it down as I think the officer has to finish the paperwork by the end of their shift? At least they'll be able to tell you the procedure.

No - don't remind them about it! According to TC they should issue a NIP within 14 days; they may have second thoughts about it and you may get away with it this time


Perhaps not. When a driver/rider is stopped at the time of the offence the usual procedure is to issue the NIP verbally. The NIP only has to be posted for camera offences where it can obviously not be given verbally at the time of the offense. I would guess the warning was given at the time.

snibgo
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Joined: 29 Jun 2010, 4:45am

Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby snibgo » 28 Jul 2012, 2:17pm

It seems the OP was "warned at the time the offence was committed", so a NIP isn't needed. (http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/53/section/1)

I think information can be put to a court any time within six months, and the summons could take a couple more months. So the OP may have to wait for eight months before knowing if there will be a court case.

I think (but I'm even more vague about this) the police have the option of sending the OP a fixed penalty notice, so it would only go to court if the OP rejected the FPN.

basingstoke123
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Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby basingstoke123 » 28 Jul 2012, 2:35pm

I wonder if PushinOn had just cross over the stop line and then stopped and waited for the lights to change to green, although technically illegal, whether the police would have done anything? Besides, could they accurately see the stopped cyclist and the stop line? Not obscured by any intervening vehicles? Clear line of sight? A gap in front of the first car?

But, if I understand correctly, he then continued before the lights changed to green. Did he even stop? Or, knowing that the lights were about to change in his favour, only needed to slow slightly?

Also, passing a police car (I presume it was marked?), and then breaking the law, no matter how 'trivial', could be seen as taking the mick. There are many things we all (well, many people) do, which the police turn a blind eye to (eg most people speed on dual carriage ways and motorways, and the police generally allow some margin). But you don't deliberately do it in front of watching police.

Answer: don't go through red lights! (obviously exceptions, like allowing an emergency vehicle though, or the lights are faulty).

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Mick F
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Re: RLJ > Straight to summons

Postby Mick F » 28 Jul 2012, 2:37pm

Pushin on:
How did you identify yourself?
I couldn't have done. They'd have had to take my word for it - or take me down the police station!

I rarely carry anything with me that could give my name and address - other than my mobile phone, but someone would have to ask Vodaphone, and the police would have to raise this question officially. Fine in an emergency if I'm injured, but not for general ID.

If you are a car driver, they have your details on the DVLA data base ........... but cyclists?

How do they know who you are?
Mick F. Cornwall