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To think this traffic fine is unreasonable?

(29 Posts)
ruby29 Wed 01-Mar-17 14:30:49

Have just had appeal rejected for pulling into a bus lane to let an ambulance past.

Ambulance was coming opposite direction towards a queue of stationary traffic which obstructed the other side of the road.

Traffic was moving freely on my side ( no cars behind me) so I pulled in to empty bus lane so ambulance could pull into my side of road and overtake the line of cars.

Pulled out of bus lane as soon as ambulance had gone past.

But taken aback that I have to pay £60 for this. On googling it seems it's fairly common.

Mrsemcgregor Wed 01-Mar-17 14:32:46

That does sound ridiculous to me. I would be tempted to let it go to court, if you can afford the risk.

lifeisazebracrossing Wed 01-Mar-17 14:39:44

That seems unfair. YADNBU. Would they rather you held up someone's access to critical support? Or dithered trying to pull over where you won't get fined? It's ridiculous!

DJBaggySmalls Wed 01-Mar-17 14:40:47

I thought you had to give way to emergency vehicles if it was safe to do so...

wishcarry Wed 01-Mar-17 14:45:18

If definitely let it go to court.
that's not fair in the slightest.and if it happens to a few people,they may be more reluctant to let an ambulance pass them in the future if they know they will get a fine.
surely they must have cctv as they caught your car in the bus lane,so they would have surely seen the ambulance go past!
Good luck OP.

TeaStory Wed 01-Mar-17 14:45:48

Rule 219 of the Highway Code says to pull out of the way but comply with all traffic signs. You can be prosecuted for disobeying signs, and yes it seems really harsh but that's what they'll get you on sad.

PizzaPower Wed 01-Mar-17 14:47:24

Google the pepipoo website. It's a forum and the people on there are very good at this sort of thing. They'll tell you the best way forward.

ExitStage Wed 01-Mar-17 14:53:17

It's only a police officer that can tell you to disobey a traffic sign.

So if you are at red lights and and a blue light comes on behind you, and motions you to move forward to let them through, if it's a police car you're fine but ambulance/fire/coastguard you're not.

SauvignonBlanche Wed 01-Mar-17 14:56:14

That's crazy - I crept through a red light a few weeks (with excellent visibility) a few weeks ago to make way for an ambulance.

Itsnotwhatitseems Wed 01-Mar-17 15:07:56

I witnessed a police car go slowly through a red light to let another police car go through with flashing lights etc, then reverse back through the red light in front of me, it was very odd as I wondered why didn't the car behind the other one simply take the others job rather than both going through the red light and then one reversing, if that makes sense.

BTW you don't live in Oxford do you OP, when my son was a student there he used to regularly drive in the bus lanes (apparently they are notoriously hard to decipher in Oxford) and when he came back for the holidays there would be several fines on the doormat! The annoying thing is they don't issue them immediately so they built up to about 6 or 7 fines before he realised what he was doing and put a stop to it.

ruby29 Wed 01-Mar-17 15:12:12

Thank you. That's helpful info. I'll take a look at the website mentioned above. I could understand it if I'd done something dangerous to get out of the way but this was definitely not the case.

The CCTV clip clearly shows what happened. I think the Highway Code is wrong and should allow you to safely pull over in such a situation without incurring a penalty!

KitKat1985 Wed 01-Mar-17 15:12:49

YANBU OP. I think that's ridiculously harsh.

andontothenext Wed 01-Mar-17 15:16:38

The problem is OP that people have no common sense.

Woman pulls over into a bus lane to let someone in a critical and potentially life threatening situation live. Therefore we must fine her because that lane, empty though it was, is ear marked only for a bus.

It beggars fucking belief.

MaidOfStars Wed 01-Mar-17 15:17:18

You can't ignore the rules of the road to give way to emergency vehicles unless instructed to do so by a police officer.

If there was nobody behind you, could you not have carried on, given that the ambulance could have changed lanes a second or two later (after you'd passed)?

It's harsh though. You try to do a good deed...

Collaborate Wed 01-Mar-17 15:21:25

Can you contact the Ambulance Service and ask them if they would intervene on your behalf? I'm sure they wouldn't want to let others think they should simply not make way for ambulances and fire engines, but that seems to be the way it's going.

LurkingHusband Wed 01-Mar-17 15:50:51

Was it via a camera ? If so, you'll have to suck it up. There is no mechanism in law for reversing a court decision made on the basis of a camera, if the underlying signage etc is correct.

There have been a few cases where drivers have moved across the line at traffic lights to let an emergency vehicle through, and been snapped by a camera, and found there is no way to avoid the penalty.

(I have a vague memory the Appeal court did comment it didn't seem right, but it's up to parliament to legislate to change it.)

The bottom line is that you did break the law.

It's also worth noting that - despite what you may think - flashing blue lights and sirens are not an instruction to move out of the way, and that any emergency services driver would tell you that you should comply with the law if you are making way for them.

This is a different situation than if a policeman had directly instructed you to pull over/go over a red light/break the law. It is a defence to a criminal act that you were instructed to commit the act by a constable in uniform.

The fact that parliament know about it, and have done nothing suggests that it's the will of the people grin.

barkingmad1236565 Wed 01-Mar-17 16:34:28

OP Please seriously take this to court. It will never get there, not for the shocking PR and media attention hey know they would receive.

LurkingHusband Wed 01-Mar-17 16:41:22

OP Please seriously take this to court. It will never get there, not for the shocking PR and media attention hey know they would receive.

The court doesn't have the power to quash the charge - as discovered by the appeal court a while ago. It's the way the law was written.

The fact I have read plenty of similar cases suggests that the power of the press is muted here. If you want change - lobby your MP.

ruby29 Wed 01-Mar-17 17:21:08

Interesting! I suppose I could have kept driving until I'd passed the ambulance but it was a fair distance away and by pulling over it was able to overtake earlier. To be honest it didn't occur to me to think about a bus lane fine until after I'd pulled in.

As long as it was safe to pull over I would do the same again!

I'm surprised the court would have no power to overrule. There ought to be some discretion to allow for different circumstances. Very odd.

LurkingHusband Wed 01-Mar-17 17:30:06

Older stories ...

You are not alone.

AyeAmarok Wed 01-Mar-17 17:31:58

I appreciate that you shouldn't disobey a traffic signal unless instructed by the police, as it might be dangerous to go through a red light for example.

But I wouldn't think that should apply to a bus lane when there's an ambulance needing through. Disgraceful that that is the case.

UsedToBeAPaxmanFan Wed 01-Mar-17 17:37:16

It does seem very harsh. However, I suspect that if you could appeal on these grounds, lots of people would be flouting the law, driving in bus lanes and them claiming they did so in order to make way for an emergency vehicle.

WatchingIZombie Wed 01-Mar-17 17:37:59

It might be worth contacting your MP and getting them involved. Absolutely ridiculous that you'd get a fine for this.

barinatxe Wed 01-Mar-17 17:53:25

Yes it is completely out of order. As the Highway Code stands, you cannot drive into a bus lane in order to let an ambulance pass. You cannot move a couple of inches past a red light to let an ambulance pass. You shouldn't even mount the kerb to let an ambulance pass.

As far as the law is concerned the above things are a big NO, even in a life-or-death situation that an emergency vehicle might be attending to.

It is fucking disgusting but these are the rules as things stand. I feel bad about blocking an ambulance or fire engine but I would rather risk a stranger dying through the ambulance or fire engine being delayed than me getting caught out in this way.


LurkingHusband Wed 01-Mar-17 18:16:03

It might be worth contacting your MP and getting them involved.

But the court cannot reverse the conviction ...

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