What is the fine for a red light?

Skipping a red light is a risk attitude punished in the highway code. Despite this, the fine for skipping a traffic light is one of the most common. However, the sanction is also appealable, if certain circumstances arise. 

Traffic lights are fundamental elements to order traffic in cities. These devices, initially invented in England in 1868, today are numerous and have intelligent functions to better manage traffic. However, they are also a source of problems for some drivers, especially those who like to go full throttle at a yellow light.

Precisely for this reason, skipping a red light is a serious offense , as is having tires in poor condition or talking on the phone behind the wheel. However, this does not prevent the aforementioned sanction from being one of the most common among Spanish drivers. So that you know what you are exposing yourself to, we are going to analyze in detail what the fine is for skipping a red light. And to compensate, we will also give you some tips on how to appeal a red light fine, so that you can defend yourself if you consider that said sanction is not appropriate.

What the highway code says

The traffic light signal has special protection, so drivers are obliged to respect it specifically. This precept is included in article 146 of the Traffic Regulations, which establishes that the light signals that indicate the priority of passage at a crossroads have the highest priority for the driver. In fact, the importance of these traffic lights is such that they prevail over all other signals, whether vertical or horizontal.

The consequences of skipping one of these traffic lights are considerable. On the one hand, as corresponds to a serious offence, the fine for skipping a red light is 200 euros , which remains at 100 euros if paid within the voluntary reduced payment period. 

Fortunately for the offender, skipping a traffic light does not imply the loss of the driver’s license, as happens with the penalties for alcohol. But this depends on how many points a particular driver has, since this infraction subtracts four points from the license. Therefore, if the driver has less than those points, then he would lose his driving license and would have to take a course to get it back.

How is a red light fine imposed?

Obviously, for the authority to impose a fine on us for going through a red light, it is necessary that we commit this act. However, what there is variety is in the ways in which this sanction can be imposed on us. Something important, as we will see when appealing the fine. 

The most common is that the sanction is imposed by an agent, who perceives that conduct. Normally, this fine arrives at home after a while, since there is usually no possibility for the agent to stop the vehicle to identify the driver and notify the fine on the spot.

Something similar happens with automated sanction systems. We are talking about technological tools such as traffic cameras or red photo systems . These teams are synchronized with the traffic lights and take images of the passing area once the light turns red, generating an image that identifies the offending vehicles.

This leaves us with the question of how long it takes for a red light ticket to arrive. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer, as this depends on the time it takes for the appropriate authority to process and send it. And knowing how long these administrations usually take to carry out any procedure, it will surely be some time before the fine arrives.

How to appeal a red light fine

When we receive a fine for a red light, there is the possibility of appealing it, if we consider that it does not conform to reality. Although it is a complicated process, if you consider that the fine does not correspond to you, you can try it.

One of the most common arguments to appeal these fines is to request metrological control of the tools used to impose the sanction. As with speed radars, cameras and red photo devices must have the corresponding metrology control, which verifies their correct operation. In the event that this does not exist or has expired, the sanction could be appealed, for having been imposed with an uncontrolled system.

Another aspect that can help us to resort is the error elements of the image. In it, both the color of the traffic light and the vehicle itself must be observed with total precision. It is necessary that the license plate of the same, the brand, the model and the rest of the elements used to identify it and proceed with the sanction be clearly visible. Again, if any of these elements are not clear, they can serve as an argument for the resource.

Everything we have discussed so far applies to fines imposed by automated systems. In the event that the sanction is imposed by an agent, it will be necessary to claim the ratification of the agent and his testimony, which must be duly accredited in an official document.

Regarding the process to appeal the fine, this is usually indicated in the complaint bulletin. In general, it is necessary to present a document with the corresponding allegations before the body that imposes the sanction. However, more and more car insurance companies include this service among their coverage. So you can save yourself the work and entrust it to your insurer.

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