A study carried out in Virginia highlights some of the issues our traffic offence solicitors have to consider when driving offences take place near traffic lights.

The research, led by Hesham Rakha, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Virginia Tech, was inspired by his own experiences of receiving a driving ticket for running a red light, after he misjudged how long the lights had been on amber.

But it’s not just running red lights that can occur due to such misjudgements – drivers can also be caught speeding, as the researcher explains.

“Even if yellow timing [the time for which the lights are on amber, allowing drivers to stop safely] is designed properly to avoid a ‘dilemma zone’, someone driving above the speed limit could encounter a dilemma because it takes longer to stop from a higher speed,” Professor Rakha explains.

This leaves them with three options: brake harshly and risk a rear-end collision; continue through the lights on red, or without clearing the junction before traffic begins to flow in the other direction; or speed up even faster to make it across before the lights change.

Any one of these options can leave motorists caught speeding or running the lights by CCTV cameras watching a junction – but if there are mitigating circumstances for making the decision, our traffic offence solicitors may still be able to successfully defend you against any fine or licence endorsement.