Contravening traffic sign such as going through a red traffic light

January 7, 2013 by  
Filed under Motoring Law

Contravening Traffic Sign

Contravening traffic sign offence covers a number of situations such as going through a red light, contravening double white lines, give way, no entry and one way signs.

Any signs, wherever they are placed must comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 and if they do not, then a person contravening them commits no offence. The Regulations are very detailed. They give precise dimensions which must be strictly observed by the Highways Authority. Failure to do so provides a defence, however minor the deviation from the Regulations may seem to be.

contravening traffic signs

So what does the law actually say?

Traffic signs or devices provide warnings and/or information on roads. There are rules and regulations in place to ensure the safety of road users and if these regulations are contravened then you could find yourself being prosecuted for the offence of contravening traffic sign.

The usual types of traffic signals, where the police often allege are contravened are:

  • Traffic Lights (red light)
  • Road Signs (give way, no entry)
  • Road Markings (single or double white lines)


Common Contravening Traffic Sign Offences

Quite obviously, the most common contravening traffic sign offence is when it comes to traffic signs and signals is the breach of red lights. These cases rely heavily on evidence from the police either at the scene of the contravening traffic sign offence or from speed camera data.

There are some very strict rules when it comes to presenting evidence from the devices and when it comes to actually getting the film from the device so that it’s not damaged, this is set out in depth in the ACPO Code of Practice for Operational Use of Road Policing Enforcement Technology and a full pardon can be offered if these aren’t followed accurately.

Specific grounds of appeal for this contravention

As the contravening traffic sign is that of “failing to comply with a no entry sign,” it is important to remember that in order to prove this contravention that the enforcing authority must actually show you passing the sign. It is not sufficient to simply show you in or entering a one way street. You can ask to see the video or photographic evidence.

This only applies if the words “Failing to comply with a no entry sign” are present. However regardless of this the enforcing authority must prove that the signs were clear and compliant on the day of the contravention in order to enforce this.


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