Reported the other day in the Tameside Advertiser is the story of a driver who moved into a Redlight controlled junction to allow a speeding 999 Police van to get through. A few days later he was stunned to find a NIP (Notice of Intent to Prosecute) drop through his letterbox. After requesting the photos of the infringement he says you can clearly see the Police Van passing him in the junction.
The driver when contesting the ticket says that the Central Ticket Office told him he should not have moved. Is this another case of Jobsworth? What would the guy have said if it the Police had been speeding to investigate a break-in at his house? There is clearly a case for common sense to prevail and this does not seem to have happened in this case.
The Tameside Advertiser report:
Taken from the Tameside Advertiser
[I]999 call sparks red light row
August 05, 2009
A DRIVER who pulled forward at a red light to let a police van pass has been hit with a ticket – for jumping the light.
Phillip Lilley was waiting at traffic lights on Manchester Road, Droylsden, when he saw the van behind him with its sirens blaring heading from Ashton towards the crossroads.
On instinct, the 36-year-old edged forward so the police could get through.
But he was left stunned a few days later when he received a letter to say he had been caught on camera jumping the lights and was slapped with a £60 fine and three penalty points.
Phillip, a car mechanic, says he drives the same way up to eight times a day so knows the junction well.
He is now disputing the fine after requesting a copy of the picture, taken by the camera at the traffic lights, which shows his car and the police van as it passed him.
He said: "The guy in front of me pulled right out into the junction so I followed him. What am I supposed to do, just stay there and not move? I crossed the line 33 seconds after the lights turned to red, I was only doing 12 miles per hour and my brake lights were on. I asked for the picture the camera had taken and the police car is clearly in view but I spoke to the Central Ticket Office and they said I shouldn’t have moved."
Phillip, of Easton Road, Droylsden, is now concerned that drivers who moved out of the way with him will also have got tickets. He added: "They may not remember – how many sets of traffic lights do you go through in a day? Even if they do they may not request the picture and if they do the police car may not be visible. My concern is how many other people it’s happened to. If that’s standard practice then the next time I’m sitting at the traffic lights and an emergency vehicle comes, I’m not moving."
The fine came just days after Phillip had overturned a similar ticket issued when the lights were out of order. They were replaced by a temporary set but the cameras had been left on.
Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership would not comment on Phillip’s case but said emergency vehicle drivers were trained to manoeuvre around other cars.