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Booked for a yellow light !

By Gord0 16 April 2008 59

My partner and her workmate were driving home in her workmate’s car (“normal car” – no rice/crab puller, driver has 12pt impeccable record) from Woden to Wanniassa up Athllon dr. After going through the 60kmh zone traffic light on a yellow (just as they arrived at the interesection) an unmarked cop cars light up and pulls them up.

The standard pointless questioning occurs “why didn’t you stop?” etc with no backchat to make it worse.

Cop then preceded to issue a ticket for “failing to stop at yellow signal”, 3 demerit points and $250 fine.

Who else knew that you had to STOP at a yellow in ACT ?

Not *slow*.. not “be aware of other road users at the intersection and proceed throught he intersection at a steady pace” as I was taught by a respected driving instructer.


This seems a great way for

a) easy profitable tickets to be issued and

b) get the smash repairers some more bucks for Canberra’s most popular accy – the rearender.

Of course smart drivers slow at a yellow spotted far off and then pull up and stop to save brakes and tyres, give drivers behind some time to react and let the tyres work better if it’s wet weather or dodgy road surface.

Aside from still hitting the skids at red light camera intersections (thanks $govt$) I won’t be changing my driving style any time soon, my insurance excess and vehicle’s panelwork is fine thanks.

What’s Your opinion?

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59 Responses to
Booked for a yellow light !
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ant 2:14 pm 18 Apr 08

Don’t worry Nathaneal, some of us got it!

I like it when there’s little stones on the side of the road. Rural roads often have these. They may look like little stones, but in fact they are Countermeasures against tailgaters.
Yes, idiots tailgate on rural roads, roads lined with roo carcasses. Einsteins.

So, to deploy the countermeasures, let your left tyres wander onto the very side of the road, where the countermeasures are stored, and watch the tailgater suddenly learn some manners, as the countermeasures splatter all over his/her windscreen.

NathanaelB 1:47 pm 18 Apr 08

LOL sorry astrojax … I wasn’t being entirely serious, and I don’t tailgate. But it does annoy me when you’re trying to be safe and people just squeeze in when obviously there isn’t enough room.

astrojax 1:26 pm 18 Apr 08

nathaneal, you’re not thinking – or counting… leave a two second gap to the vehicle in front. so someone pulls in, leave a gap to them (say an extra second). now, a trip to gunghalin from tuggerenong, a long way, might have you have a hundred ‘fools’ pull into your safety gap and make you drop back an extra second. in a what, 35-45min drive, you’re an extra 100 seconds – less than two minutes – slower than you might have been. and this is a huge inconvenience to you?

tailgating is NEVER necessary. its a) unlawful b) dangerous and c) fruckkin frustrating and stressful for the gate-ee… back off, slow down, relax and we’ll all get along juz fine.

NathanaelB 11:59 am 18 Apr 08

Tailgating is neccessary – if you don’t, then some fool will pull into your lane in the safety margin you’ve opened up and you’ll either end up tailgating even closer to the car that’s moved into your lane or have to slow down to create a new safety margin, and again, and again, until you’re no longer moving 🙂

Gord0 11:23 am 18 Apr 08

“ridculosuly” – thats just ridiculous ! 🙂

Gord0 11:22 am 18 Apr 08

Special G said :

Imagine if coppers started handing out tickets for doing 3km over the speed limit

isn’t that the case in Vic ? Read somewhere it was a ridculosuly low margin for error down there…

Plus.. all traffic cops will be replaced by cameras soon anyway…human ones tend to miss plenty of evildoers doing 3km over and not testing their ABS at every yellow light in the interest of safety 😉

ant 9:52 am 18 Apr 08

Felix the Cat said :

…It doesn’t sound like a plausible story to me, an old Chevy usually wouldn’t outbrake a late model car presumably with ABS brakes, but maybe the cop was distracted with the food.

Especially if doughnuts were involved, but cops’ll go into a trap for maccas, too. Cops are great at tailgating, I used to take Fairbairn through Campbell a lot, it’s 60 through there, and the cops really took exception to my doing 60, evidently.

minime2 4:13 am 18 Apr 08

No, special G, the sky would not fall down, but Stanhope’s budget would surely take a tumble. They budget for us folk doing the wrong thing. It would be an interesting social experiment if all drivers did not park illegally or do anything wrong on ACT roads for a bit. Hargreaves would be demanding the speed limit be reduced to 25 and breathing in a car made illegal just to get the dollars back. Be good – it hurts!

Proud Local 12:24 am 18 Apr 08

This whole incident sounds like hogwash to me. If I were to book every car that went through yellow lights that I saw I would do nothing else with my time.

Yes it IS an offence to drive through a yellow light, exactly the same fine as a red light in fact. Yes we have discretion in deciding on whether it was safe for the person to stop or not and act accordingly.

I strongly suspect that this person ran a very late yellow light and described their tale of woe that put them in a more flattering light to make them feel more justified in their behaviour. I honestly think people perceive personal events differently to neutral observers and really do believe them to be true.

Personally, unless you enter the intersection just as the light is going red or just after it has then you won’t get a ticket. If I am stopped at the intersection and my light turns green and you are still in the middle of the intersection, expect to be pulled over also.

All cops are different when it comes to discretion but thats the way I judge it. I think it’s more then fair.

Felix the Cat 8:49 pm 17 Apr 08

I heard a funny story once from a friend of a friend, it’s probably just an urban myth, not actually true. A guy was cruising near Dickson in an old Chevy or similar type ‘Yank Tank’ and he noticed a copper behind him. He came up to a set of traffic lights and they turned orange and of course he jammed the anchors on to stop and the cop car ran up his clacker. He got out to see if the cops were OK and presumably to get the cop’s details so he could send him bill for the repairs to the car and found that the cop had just been to Maccas and was now wearing most of his meal!

It doesn’t sound like a plausible story to me, an old Chevy usually wouldn’t outbrake a late model car presumably with ABS brakes, but maybe the cop was distracted with the food.

Special G 7:28 pm 17 Apr 08

There was a story on here not that long ago about a bloke contesting a caution for running a yellow light. He ended up with an upgrade to a fine and loss of points. follow the link.

The whole yellow light issue tends to get peoples backs up a bit on the old Riot. It appears most people have the idea that running yellow/red lights, tailgating, sitting 10km over the speed limit are good driving habits. Imagine if coppers started handing out tickets for doing 3km over the speed limit. Holy shite the sky would fall down.

Try this next time you approach a yellow – look in your rear vision mirror as well – unsafe to stop also means a vehicle with less braking prowess might be right up your clacker and unable to do so.

cranky 6:05 pm 17 Apr 08

I would be interested in the opinion of a neutral traffic engineer regarding the timing of the lights at the Hindmarsh/Yamba intersection. In particular, the length of yellow given traffic on Hindmarsh heading towards Woden – and under the watchful eye of the speed/red light camera.

At 80k’s, the envelope for continuing/stopping appears to be measured in milliseconds. Stopping from the speed limit requires a certain distance, exacerbated by the downhill aspect of the road. I do not believe that this time/distance has been correctly built into the lights timing. The orange light is too short! Braking has to be heavier than would normally be considered comfortable.

Any miscalculation is likely to result in either a traffic fine, or a rearender. I have come very close to the latter on a couple of occasions.

Spideydog 5:40 pm 17 Apr 08

Tough break Luke…but you put your hands up..kudos to you. Not many like you around

freddie281 5:33 pm 17 Apr 08

> Not surprising that cops are out doing this. Heaven forbid they actually do something useful (like chasing the car thieves in Civic)…<

Actually “VYBerlina”, methinks if most people paid attention to what they were doing on the road and not breaking the law, the cops could probably spend more time catching car thieves in Civic…

luke79 4:40 pm 17 Apr 08

id have to take a day off work, pay for my own legal advice etc. a day off work would cost me more than the fine straight away.

luke79 4:39 pm 17 Apr 08

i try to leave at least 15 – 20 metre gap (depending on my speed) between me and the car in front, try and keep that distance in peak hour on a major road. my old van full of gear clocked in just under 3 tonnes and with that kinda weight it’s bloody hard to pull up in a rush. i was already on the breaks coming into the intersection and locked them up a bitt over 10 metres away from him. i was happy to admitt the accident was my fault, at the end of the day i didnt leave enough room to stop, even though leaving enough room is nearly impossible given canberra drivers in peak hour. i was happy to pay all the insurance bills. i felt the fine was a bitt of a kick in the guts given the circumstances, but at the end of the day it was only money and a few points. no one was hurt. i dont think i could have reacted any quicker or done anything else to avoid the accident, i can only imagine nowdays the chap infront of me looks in his mirror before he locks them up for an amber light. i dont ever tailgate, im patient and polite on the roads as i cant stand the way so many dickheads drive and i dont want to be one of them.

madman 4:16 pm 17 Apr 08

“if i had taken it to court it would have ended up costing me more even if i got off the fine.”

If you win in court you do not have to pay any court or legal fees nor the ticket… Don’t know why you think otherwise. It would definetly help you money wise and record wise!

ant 3:05 pm 17 Apr 08

Tailgaters, I had another this morning, from Qbn to the Airport. I was behind a line of cars tootling along at around 80 or 90, and had left a nice gap, as there’s the odd roo, or sudden stop as traffic suddnely builds up and stops. And this van was right up my clacker. I mean, what did he expect me to do? Did he feel I wasn’t fulfilling my share of Tailgating Duties?

Lost him on the line of airport roundabouts. One thing I’ve noticed, is tailgaters are incredibly skillful drivers in a straight line, but have difficulty with curves. They can press that accelorator so well, all other drivers should just clear the way. But when there’s a curve, they apparently have to press their brakes!

astrojax 2:02 pm 17 Apr 08

luke79, i was under the impression that you should leave a gap to the vehicle in front to be able to stop in time, whatever reason – even if none – that vehicle stops… what if they saw a child run out in front of them, even if you didn’t. i shouldn’t be complaining about it, just count, ‘one thousand and one, one thousand and two’, then passing where they were when you started – or move back.

i can’t stand tailgaters – for the very reason you describe!

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