ENTERTAINMENT

Police refuse to apologize after an offer to prosecute the learner driver for overshooting the red light has failed


The learner driver is brought to justice because he stopped just a few meters behind a red light – with his instructor in the car

  • Joseph Bell, then 17, stopped at an intersection in Nottingham last year
  • The student had a lesson with the instructor and stopped in the zone for 14.8 seconds
  • He received an absolute discharge and plans to take a test in the next few weeks
  • Despite the verdict, Nottinghamshire Police supported the decision to pursue the case

A learner driver was brought to justice for stopping just a few meters past a red light – with his instructor in the car.

Joseph Bell, who was 17 at the time of the incident, has received an outright discharge and plans to take his test in the next few weeks.

The student stopped at an intersection in Nottingham for 14.8 seconds during a lesson with his driving instructor, who could take control of the vehicle if necessary.

Joseph Bell, now 18, pictured with his mother Gaynor. The student was granted absolute dismissal after crossing a red light at an intersection in Nottingham last December

Mr Bell's driving instructor wrote a letter of support for the teen and described the mistake as a misjudgment that can occur from time to time with learner drivers.

The footage showed that there was no oncoming traffic or pedestrians. The judge's court heard Mr Bell pull into the intersection at slow speed.

Mr Bell, who is now 18 years old, admitted to breaking the traffic light signal but, being given absolute relief, will not receive a fee or points added to his driver's license.

Despite the verdict, Nottinghamshire Police defended their decision to pursue the case by supporting the indictment against Mr Bell.

Inspector Simon Allen told the BBC: “The safety of all road users is of the utmost importance, which is why the law holds learner drivers equally accountable and must ensure that they comply with traffic rules.

"In these cases, drivers have a choice of either taking a ticket or going to court, as happened here."

The learner's car shown on the left was captured in front of the camera during a driving lesson at the intersection. The footage showed that there was no oncoming traffic or pedestrians

Mr Bell, pictured left, expressed relief that no points were added to his license and his mother, right, said she was frustrated with the force's move

Mr Bell, pictured left, expressed relief that no points were added to his license and his mother, right, said she was frustrated with the force's move

Mr Bell expressed relief that no points were added to his license, and his mother, Gaynor, said she was frustrated with the force's move.

Bruce Stuart, defending Mr Bell, said, "This is something that learner drivers do – they make mistakes."

Mr Stuart also said that the vehicle would not have posed any danger to others on the road even in traffic.

He added that the driving instructor would have taken the risk and stopped the car if there was a risk.

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