New data shows that motorists in Scotland run red lights the most, with drivers in Glasgow disregarding red traffic lights more than anywhere else in Britain.
Vehicle leasing broker, Select Car Leasing, uncovered the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) figures using the Freedom of Information Act 2000 and found that, since April 2016, Glasgow prosecuted 13,373 drivers for ignoring traffic lights—over 10% of the recorded offences in England, Wales and Scotland.
Showing Glasgow in a bad light
Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh, came second in the list with 8,022 prosecutions in the last four years, while Nottingham came third, recording 5,775 prosecutions up to October 2019.
Of the remaining 20 worst offending postcode areas since 2016, Bristol was next, with 5,048 prosecutions, followed by Cardiff (4,942), Sheffield (2,925), Leicester (2,781), Motherwell (2,596), and Liverpool (2,520). Next, was the London South Western SW postcode area (2,157), followed by Southend-on-Sea (2,305), Manchester (2,239), the London South Eastern SE postcode area (2,157), Greater London (2,137), Birmingham (1,851), Doncaster (1,729), Brighton (1,707), and the Essex CM postcode area (including Billericay, Braintree, Chelmsford, and Stansted) with 1,704 prosecutions. North London was next, with 1,659 offences, then Kilmarnock with 1,611.
The 10 least offending areas since 2016 were those with fewer vehicles on the road, so it’s no surprise Lerwick in the Shetlands had the fewest red light offences, with just 20 offences, followed by The Outer Hebrides in second place with only 34 prosecutions.
The Western Central WC postcode area was next, with 37 offences, followed by the London’s Eastern Central EC postcode area (46), Far North Scotland (56), Llandrindod Wells (61), Dorchester (116), Harrogate (118), Halifax (132), and Blackpool (134).
If you run a red light, you’ll receive a ‘TS10’ notice on your driving licence for ‘failing to comply with traffic light signals’. This stays on your record for four years. The number of TS10 endorsements for traffic light offences since 2016 was 127,721, but overall, these offences are declining, with 39,440 in 2016, 33,695 in 2017, and 33,147 in 2018.
The Department for Transport (DfT) reported 160,597 casualties from road traffic incidents in 2018, with around 75,095 of those taking place at junctions, many of which were traffic light-controlled.
Mark Tongue, Owner and Company Director of Select Car Leasing, said:
‘Traffic lights are there for a reason and jumping them when they are on red is not only an offence, it is also highly dangerous.
‘Glasgow has around 50 speed and red-light cameras, a relatively high figure compared with other cities, which may explain why it is the red-light jumping capital.
‘But driving habits and behaviours also play a significant part and motorists can hardly blame a camera if they get caught ploughing through traffic when they should be coming to a standstill.
‘Few motorists enjoy being stuck at lights, not least at night when there is little other traffic around and you’re in a rush.
‘But the law is there to be followed and not broken.
‘By jumping a red traffic light or being a so-called ‘amber gambler’, drivers are creating a very real threat of death to other road users and pedestrians.
‘If caught, they also face being handed three penalty points, which in some instances may lead to a driving ban under the totting-up procedure, and a fine.’
Paying the penalty
Traffic light offences are most often dealt with by a Fixed Penalty of 3 points and a £100 fine, but if you don’t respond to the penalty notice or if you give incorrect details of the driver, you risk a fine of £1,000 and six penalty points. If you already have points on your driving licence, a Fixed Penalty may mean you lose your licence.
In England and Wales, if you’re caught by a traffic signal camera and activation of the camera was within less than three seconds of the light turning red, the police may offer you a place on a Traffic Signal Course as an alternative punishment, though Scotland doesn’t yet offer this option.
If you complete a safety awareness course, don’t expect reduced insurance premiums because, depending on the insurance company, your premiums could increase—if you get any penalty points, they will increase.
And, if you cross the white line at traffic lights to make way for emergency vehicles, you won’t be immune from prosecution from a traffic signal camera. And, while many of us will risk punishment to help an emergency vehicle to get to an incident, you’re still liable for any offences you commit by moving across the solid white line; something all emergency personnel know.
How well do drivers obey traffic lights where you live? Do the findings prove more red-light offences happen in Glasgow, or do their police prioritise these offences more than others? Have you been punished for running a red or amber light? Tell us in the comments.
Running a red light in most instances should qualify for some sort of retribution, HOWEVER, making way for an emergency vehicle (ambulance, fire, police,) in my view should not qualify for a fine/endorsement. You are performing a public service that could save a life, particularly if that emergency vehicle has no other way of getting past you. If ever it happens to me when a police car wants to get through and I’m in the way and cannot legally move, he will have to wait until I can unless that officer instructs me to move but he will have to assure me I will not be prosecuted. It’s what I call give and take. As it stands the law is an ‘ass’.
Being employed by the Fire Service , as I am , I will always move for an emergency vehicle on blue lights ( but then I can claim an exemption ) , although I am more likely to move for Fire or Ambulance since their call is more likely to involve life or death than police . Having front and rear dash cams fitted , I am confident I could argue my case in court if need be , but very much doubt it would go that far . I regularly see people disregarding red lights for no apparent reason , and I feel these ones should have the book thrown at them ; there is one junction in particular where I expect to find other traffic doing this and see it almost every time . Yes I live near and travel around the Glasgow area daily .
Drivers in Southampton who jump red lights should consider themselves lucky that there are NOT enough police to enforce the law, or maybe that is why they disregard motoring laws. At one particular set of traffic lights, which also has a pedestrian crossing, one can hear driver who are approaching the lights knowing they are going to change to red ‘Floor the gas’. I know people don’t like CCTV cameras, but if they were attached to traffic lights, recording those who cross on a red light and send them a court summons things might improve.
In many cases, a set of traffic lights could be replaced with a roundabout, resulting in far fewer unnecessary delays, particularly at night. There are five sets of lights within four hundred yards on a road near where I live, and traffic backs up to the previous set. It’s ludicrous. One set is three-way; one of the ways is an exit from a new supermarket (why should we be delayed so they can make a profit?); another way is for a very minor road with little traffic; the main road is fouled up by this.
In a neighbouring town, two sets of traffic lights were replaced with roundabouts.
The resulting improvement in traffic flow was miraculous!
If you move (slowly and carefully) through a red signal in order to make way for a police vehicle on an emergency call, I would argue that’s merely following the directions of a police officer in uniform (assuming at least one officer in the vehicle is in uniform) – by appearing with blue lights and sirens, they are signalling other motorists to make way. I would argue this in court if any penalty arose out of the situation. Obviously, the same wouldn’t be applicable if it had been a fire engine or ambulance.
In most cases the Fire or Ambulance service call will be more urgent ; I will make way for them before I would for police . I am not bothered about the legality ; only the humanity of the situation . Emergency response drivers ( I am one ) are trained to turn off lights and sirens when blocked at lights , so as not to intimidate drivers in front .
The other day I was watching a news item about Russia on TV. In the background was a most interesting traffic light.
Instead of an amber light between the green and the red, it had a digital counter, counting down the number of seconds until the light changed. I think if we went to this system it would save a lot of “amber jumping”.
A countdown would surely encourage drivers to put their foot down to beat the clock….
This is tosh Bradford is the worst, but no one is ever penalised.
You clearly haven’t driven much in Glasgow
Absolute tosh Bradford is the worst, its just that nobody is penalised so no stats
Usually people obey traffic lights round my way, but it can get quite tricky during rush hour to avoid box junctions.