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Red light spells danger – don’t ignore it!

Ignoring red traffic lights could have disastrous consequences. Picture: Archant library

Ignoring red traffic lights could have disastrous consequences. Picture: Archant library

Archant © 2006

Motoring editor Andy Russell says red-light jumpers have got to stop before their irresonsible driving kills someone.

Volkswagen is now the UK�s second best-selling brand and Golf second best-selling car. Picture: VolkswagenVolkswagen is now the UK�s second best-selling brand and Golf second best-selling car. Picture: Volkswagen

If there’s one thing that makes me see red it’s dangerous drivers who ignore it and deliberately go through red traffic lights.

They’re not ‘amber gamblers’, who nip through before the lights turn red, but irresponsible idiots who could stop but choose not to because they think their time is more precious than wasting it waiting at traffic lights and, potentially, other road-users’ lives.

Imagine an equally impatient motorist in the opposing traffic flow who was as quick off the mark at the lights, nipping away smartish when the red and amber light were still showing, as the other driver was late going through on red. And this senseless, selfish practice seems to be getting worse and something I come across nearly every day.

The worst incident, short of actually having a crash, came when I had started to move off when my lights went green, only to have to stop sharply when not one, but two vans, whizzed in front of me. Given the time delay between opposing lights turning red and green, the only thing that wasn’t a close call was the length of time they had to blatantly disregard the lights.

The danger is not only in front of you. Pantomime season may be over but, when you approach a set of lights, think ‘Behind you!’ A car right on your bumper is in danger of shunting you up the rear if you jam on the brakes. I’ve had such cases where I’ve gone through the lights well in to the amber phase for fear of being hit only for the car behind to do so too.

The penalty for failing to comply with a red traffic light is three penalty points and a fine – £100 for a fixed penalty but up to £1,000 if the case goes to court. You can’t put a price on a life.

From two cars to UK’s second biggest brand

Two is becoming a significant number in the history of Volkswagen in the UK.

Back in 1952, when Volkswagen first arrived in the UK, the German brand sold just two cars.

Last year, it overtook Vauxhall to become the UK’s second best-selling brand for the first time, behind Ford, with a total of 208,462 car sales to take an 8.2pc market share with its sales up 0.69pc on 2016 – not a lot but quite an achievement given that total registrations overall fell 5.7pc in the UK.

And it was a double success for Volkswagen with the Golf becoming the second most popular car overall, behind the Ford Fiesta, and the best-seller in its class in the UK for the first time with UK motorists with 74,605 new models finding homes. It also finished the year on a high with 6,209 registrations, making it the most successful model last month, the third time it topped the monthly charts last year.

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