When no good deed goes unpunished - or does it?

Retro

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Reading this article and ignoring the pictures for a moment, the driver just inched the front of his car over the line at a red light stop in order to let an ambulance on an emergency callout with its blue lights on, pass at a single lane junction. He then got a £100 fine and three points for it which sounds grossly unfair. Even though he appealed it, citing this mitigating circumstance, he still has to go to court over it. Big Brother stamping all over the little guy again, making it all pretty awful, right?

Now, look at the pictures below and what do they show? A dual lane junction and the car clearly well over the line with the ambulance in the distance. Yet, the article doesn't address this at all. This, on the face of it, changes the picture completely and he doesn't have a leg to stand on so I'd like to know the real story. Poor reporting Yahoo, but that's not surprising from them.


red light.jpg

An elderly driver who made way for an ambulance has been handed a £100 fine and three points on his licence.

Frank Wallington, 76, has held a clean driving licence for over 20 years but has been hit with the penalty after moving his car through a red light to allow the emergency vehicle to get past.

The pensioner had been driving home from his cousin's funeral in March last year when he was caught on camera inching past the lights – just one second after they changed.

 

Crims

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Reading this article and ignoring the pictures for a moment, the driver just inched the front of his car over the line at a red light stop in order to let an ambulance on an emergency callout with its blue lights on, pass at a single lane junction. He then got a £100 fine and three points for it which sounds grossly unfair. Even though he appealed it, citing this mitigating circumstance, he still has to go to court over it. Big Brother stamping all over the little guy again, making it all pretty awful, right?



London (mainly the police ticketing system) as a whole are NPCs. I'm convinced.
Without the same social background our city generally had, and pure noise filling the news instead of reasonable talk, I've found that unless you make formal complaints, police officers are gang like at the moment. It's going to be like this for a while until some actual cases of them failing and punishment for it happen.
Near where I live is a place which had some which are gang-like in behaviour nowdays.
 
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Uncrowned

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So I have two inputs here. The first is that it does appear to be a dual-lane road and the ambulance would just pass on the right in that scenario without him having to do anything. The best course of action at a stop with an emergency vehicle behind you and a lane is open is to just do nothing beyond maybe putting on your hazard signals to let the crew know you see them passing.

However, after doing the whole ambulance thing for 10 years myself, I can easily say that most people will do SOMETHING, and pulling slightly ahead and off to the side when it is not needed is the most common practice. Granted since this stuff is never taught to anyone, the reactions vary.

But (going by US law) this would almost certainly result in the way it did here and the driver would report to the local magistrate for his court date and the judge would throw the ticket out.
 

Retro

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But ppl, do you not agree that his story doesn’t stack up?
 

Uncrowned

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But ppl, do you not agree that his story doesn’t stack up?
I actually feel like it would be for the greater good to accept his unlikely story of trying to be a good samaritan than to chance punishing someone for trying to do good.

Things would be different if the ambulance was simply not in the photo and/or this caused an accident or other damages, but.... it is a very minor traffic ticket that no one was hurt or inconvenienced by.

Basically put, since no one was hurt or suffered losses, the question "can we prove without reasonable doubt that he wasn't actually trying to be helpful" would be my way of looking at it. And by just the images, I can say there is a very small amount of chance that he truly was trying to be helpful. It does appear he crossed AFTER the ambulance was well passed, but still.

ACTUALLY, I do not know UK law, but the right lane is the passing lane and that ambulance is running lights and sirens in the left lane. This would actually be the ambulance doing wrong by US laws (well, my state's law), but zero idea how it works over there, and that merging lane really complicates that idea, but common practice would be to run that merge lane to the end.
 

Arantor

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I will agree, as per the situation laid out, it doesn't stack up.

However, there is a more complicated situation. First up, emergency vehicles have some special rules, and that does include the legal ability to pass through a red light - but it's not a carte blanche, they have to treat it as a give way sign.

An emergency vehicle passing does not exempt a driver from following the Highway Code and the normal laws of traffic, so at first glance - whatever the situation the fine is legally appropriate for passing a red light, even if it is to allow an emergency vehicle through.

Now, the law is not inviolate - and appeals are most certainly possible, whereupon the specific circumstances of the situation will be examined. If, as he said, it truly was a single lane and he was moving aside to let the ambulance through, there is a fairly good chance the appeal will be successful assuming all involved consider that the driver was acting safely, and that he had no alternative but to move aside in the sincere belief that not doing so would block the ambulance.

The evidence provided would seem to show that it was not a single lane, and that the ambulance would have been perfectly able to pass without him running a red light. In which case... the law is quite clear on this point.

The key thing about this: it's very easy to write all such cases off as 'good samaritan' but that very quickly leaves you in a position where the cameras are no longer functional if you are not careful. The cameras are there for good reason, and the legally (and arguably, morally) correct situation is to let the cameras do their thing. We're literally back to being better to seek forgiveness than to ask permission.
 

Crims

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I actually feel like it would be for the greater good to accept his unlikely story of trying to be a good samaritan than to chance punishing someone for trying to do good.
It's not really a idealism rewarding country to be honest. I disagree with the idea of cameras being there for good reason however, with the recent police policies in my local boroughs in London.
 

Uncrowned

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It's not really a idealism rewarding country to be honest. I disagree with the idea of cameras being there for good reason however, with the recent police policies in my local boroughs in London.
I also do like not ticket generation cameras as they are mostly there for money generation and never have been shown to reduce traffic accidents or their severity in most studies (beyond ones done in England for some reason). I'm not against cameras at intersections to record evidence of a crash and the events leading up to them, but I do not support the involuntary tax money machines that traffic cameras often become.
 

Retro

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@Uncrowned +1 on that.

I remember reading an article years ago about red light cameras in America. Certain states were deliberately reducing the yellow light time to encourage drivers to jump a red and get nailed for it with a nice shiny fine.

This is wrong and corrupt on so many levels, especially as they're encouraging accidents to happen all in the name of ill gotten profits. And of course, those accidents could be life changing, or fatal.
 
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