There’s a strong sense of déjà vu in this video of a driver speeding through a traffic signal after it turned to red – it’s almost an exact replica, down to the specific location, of one we featured back in February where the Metropolitan Police declined to take action against a motorist filmed driving through a red light at Thornton Heath in South London.
On that occasion, police explained in detail to the cyclist who submitted the footage why they had decided to take no action, saying that there was “insufficient evidence to proceed” against the motorist – with the rationale primarily being that the driver would have been unable to stop safely in time.
In the video shot in February, which appears below, both the front and rear wheels of the car involved were within the advanced stop line (ASL) box before the lights switched from amber to red.
But in the latest video, which appears at the top of this article and was filmed on 31 August, the light has clearly turned red well before the driver reaches the ASL box.
Despite that, the motorist was only issued with a warning letter, with the Metropolitan Police telling the rider who uploaded the footage: “The decision to warn the driver and not prosecute is based on the fact that the vehicle went through the red traffic signal just as it changed to red with no other road users affected.
“Due to this being a minor infringement the decision was made to send a warning.”
The cyclist told road.cc: “I am absolutely flabbergasted by the reason given from the Met police for only issuing a warning letter for this red light jump.
“So in effect, anyone can jump a red if there is no affect to other road users.
“So much for the Met police working to make our roads safer,” he added.
As we pointed out in our previous article, the Highway Code is clear on such situations, with Rule 178 stating:
Advanced stop lines. Some signal-controlled junctions have advanced stop lines to allow cycles to be positioned ahead of other traffic. Motorists, including motorcyclists, MUST stop at the first white line reached if the lights are amber or red and should avoid blocking the way or encroaching on the marked area at other times, e.g. if the junction ahead is blocked. If your vehicle has proceeded over the first white line at the time that the signal goes red, you MUST stop at the second white line, even if your vehicle is in the marked area. Allow cyclists time and space to move off when the green signal shows.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.