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Running A Red Light: Solicitor sets out how to show legal fault for a car crash at a set of traffic lights in the UK

Running a red light: Find out when you are considered to have run a red light, why it is a criminal offence, what the light traffic light colour system means in the UK, what you can claim in compensation if you are involved in a RTA and how to receive free legal help from a specialist solicitor if you have been involved in an accident.

When is a car driver running a red light?

The Road Traffic Act sets outs the requirements of drivers of a vehicle when approaching a traffic light with different colours illuminated - whether this be a car, motorcycle, truck, pedal bike or other vehicle.

Running Red Light

running red light image

If a traffic light shows red or red and amber - a driver must stop his vehicle before the stop line – failure to do so is known as “running a red light” and is a criminal offence in the UK.

Emergency vehicles – such as the police, fire brigade or ambulance service , can proceed when a red light is showing but only when it is safe to do so and there is no risk to the safety of vehicles observing the light correctly or any other road user.

The Highway Code explains that a traffic lights include both permanent lights and temporary lights so the rules apply equally to the same.

What is the colour sequence of UK traffic lights?

The colour sequence of UK traffic lights is as follows:

Green: it is safe for vehicles to proceed through the lights.

Amber: you should stop unless you are too close to the lights to stop safely in which case you can continue through the lights but before the lights turn red.

Red or red amber: You must stop and failure to do so is running a red light and as such a criminal offence.

If you collide with a car which is running a red light will you always win you claim for compensation for a car crash?

The fact that someone has committed a criminal offence by running a red light does not mean that you will always win your claim for compensation for vehicle damage and personal injury.

It must be shown that it was the act of running the red light which caused the crash. For example – if you were turning at a set of traffic lights which were on green and a driver of another car collided with you whilst running a red light you would certainly win your claim.

If however a driver had run a red light and halted within the red lights and you should have observed that driver and continued through a green light with ample time to stop and yet turned into the stationary driver it is quite likely you could be found liable for all or part of the RTA.

What happens is a set of traffic lights was not working correctly when you had your car crash?

Clearly traffic lights should be work correctly – but on occasion malfunctions can occur and as result collisions occur.

For example – if two cars proceeded through green lights and a collision resulted. Liability such an instance is not clear.

Firstly it must be shown that the lights were malfunctioning and even if this can be shown it must be proved that this malfunction caused the collision for the council or highways authority to be liable.

It is quite likely that one or other driver could be held liable especially if the accident could have been avoided if the respective drivers were paying proper attention to the road.

What can you claim for in car crash due to a driver running a red light?

You can claim compensation from the driver who caused the crash by running a red light for :

1. Vehicle damage – the cost of repair or the write of value if your vehicle is damaged beyond economic repair.

2. Personal injury - this will include both physical injuries such as whiplash, neck and back injuries and psychological injury such as post traumatic stress disorder / PTSD.

3. Other expenses - This might include lost income, medical expenses, hire car expense, etc.

What to do if you are injured by a car running a red light

If you are involved in a RTA caused by a car running a red light – whether you are a car driver, a passenger, motor cyclist or a pedestrian you should contact a specialist RTA solicitor to assess your claim.

Click running a red light to access my website’s free online legal help to claim compensation or to arrange a call back to speak to me direct about your running a red light car crash claim.