Injust red light camera fine

My wife got a red light camera fine of $353 (Australian dollars). What happened is that she was in a lane that is meant to turn right and the right turning traffic light was red but the main light was green. She turned left a bit and then went straight ahead. I think her problem was being in the wrong lane but the fine was for “fail to stop at red light”. I talked to the traffic fine department and they said she was meant to have waited and then turned right and then do a u-turn and then turn right to get to where she wanted to go (straight ahead). I wanted to go to court about it but my wife refused and said that it would probably be more expensive that way. But I really wanted to go to court. That might be my only chance.

The cops are right and your wife is right. Be thankful you have these people in your life to guide you.

You could make things clearer by posting the images of your infraction. They should have been sent to you with the ticket, and in many cases (at least in New South Wales) you can log on and view them online.

Why don’t you post the images for us? You can blank out the license plate number, if you’re worried about privacy.

If she was already on the intersection, the ‘sensor’ in the right hand lane might have tripped the Red Light Camera sensor as well, even though she then veered towards the left hand lane and continued through the green light.

I agree that it might be worth fighting John. There will be cameras at that intersection that will back your claims, and show that she didn’t IN FACT run a red light therefore avoiding copping the fine that would otherwise apply.

Good luck!

This is what I imagine happened:

She driving along and didn’t realize until the last second she was in a right turn only lane. So she then veers abruptly to the left lane. Only she didn’t do so until AFTER she entered the intersection.

Which is exactly why the cops suggested the right thing to do would have been to just stop, make the right hand turn and then do a U-turn. Inconvenient? Yes. But at least you have the satisfaction of knowing you’re not putting other people’s safety at risk all because you couldn’t be bothered to be inconvenienced.

The photos:

LOL. John that doesn’t even look like she attempted to change lanes. She just kept right on going.

I’m sure this is right, but in most cases there is no excuse for the highlighted section. These turn lanes, especially at larger intersections, are usually well marked, and if you arrive at the intersection in the wrong lane, it means you haven’t been paying close enough attention.

That might seem a bit harsh, but in my opinion basic inattention to road conditions and traffic flow is one of the most common causes of dangerous driving. People need to focus on what they’re doing when they’re behind the wheel.

Yeah, sorry, she got what she deserved.

We could argue, i guess, about whether the specific infraction on the ticket should be for running a red light, or for improper lane change, or perhaps something else, but she definitely deserves a ticket.

And i’m still searching the photos for evidence of the “turned left a bit” claim in your OP.

If it was the last second she wouldn’t have time to stop. And stopping after the white line counts as going through a red light as well.

Me and my wife had no idea that that was a possibility. But the police talked as if that was the obvious thing to do.

If you look at the photos you’d see that no-one’s safety was at risk. Yet she got a fine of the same amount as someone who might have drove straight through a red light in a busy intersection with traffic going past them.

Well main light is for people going straight ahead after all - not for people turning left or right. Though she did tell me that she used her left indicator.

Yes I agree she deserves some kind of ticket. In court I was going to argue that she just was in the wrong lane rather than not stopping at a red light.

Well that just goes to show that the lane in front of her seems to connect up even if she isn’t turning left.

John, Do you not see those solid white lines leading up to the intersection? Once you enter the solid white lines, you are NOT supposed to changed lanes.

And if your wife doesn’t pay attention to what color the light is until she’s right up on it; she has no business driving.

But I’m guessing that she DID see the light in time to stop but she chose not to. Because, hey, she’s got places she’s gotta to be. Right?

I think we’re all thankful. :eek:

If she was in a right-turn-only lane, then the green light did not apply to her. It’s irrelevant. The light for the lane she was actually in was red. She ran a red light.

But what about after the intersection starts? There aren’t even dashed lines for the lanes. So it seems it might be reasonable to change lanes afterwards.

The main light is green for going straight ahead. She wasn’t turning right so I’d argue that that light didn’t apply to her or at least didn’t seem relevant.

She’s going straight ahead so she’d be looking at the main light. Actually she was veering to the left… so I don’t think she deliberately was going through a red light. After all the red light is for people turning right. Technically it is for all people who are in the right lane but she would have been assuming that it is just for people who are actually turning right.

She was in the right hand lane and she had no idea that turning right was a possibility?

It is (or at least it seems so to me) obvious that when you realise you’ve made a wrong choice, late switching to the right choice could be problematic. People often get away with it, but that doesn’t make it a better idea than it is.

Imagine this had happened in a driving test:

“Oh shit! I’m in the wrong lane…” <swerve> will get you failed.

Whereas you might not get failed for:

“I’ve just realised that I am in the wrong lane to carry on straight ahead. May I follow through with the right turn, then correct our course in a safe place?”

I guess that if the right traffic light was green and she was in the same lane then going straight ahead is also similar to going through a red light. So if she’s in that lane she can’t go straight ahead no matter what traffic lights there are. Since the traffic lights are irrelevant I think it is about being in the wrong lane or failing to turn when in the right-turning lane.

She assumed it was a green light for her since she was going straight ahead - perhaps at 40 or 50 km/h. In order to turn right she would have came to a complete stop before the white line because if she stops over the white line it counts as going through a red light. Then after coming to a stop she’d need to wait until the right traffic light turns green then turn right then do a u-turn (on a busy road) then come back and turn right. She has to concentrate on all of the traffic, etc, so she wouldn’t have much concentration to work out within a very short time that she needs to come to a complete stop very quickly.

The lights are for the lanes, not the directions of travel.

So what if the right-lane light was green and she was in the right lane and then went straight ahead? Would that involve a red light offence?