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11th Jan 2023

Pensioner hit with £100 fine for letting an ambulance pass

Charlie Herbert

He has had a clean license for more than 20 years

An elderly motorist has been left fuming after he was fined £100 and threatened with court for going through a red light to let an ambulance pass.

Frank Wallington, 76, was issued with the penalty after he made way for the emergency vehicle last March on the A52 in Radcliffe on Trent, Nottinghamshire.

The pensioner had been driving home from his cousin’s funeral when he was caught on camera going through past the traffic lights – just one second after they changed. He had been making way for an ambulance which was approaching with flashing blue lights behind him.

Wallington was in a single lane and was worried that if he stopped normally for the lights, the ambulance would be unable to get past him.

So he inched forward to let the vehicle pass, with just the front end of his BMW crossing the white line.

But he was left shocked when Nottinghamshire Police slapped him with a £100 and three points on his license.

The grandfather-of-four appealed the penalty but, after almost a year without response, he has now been told that he must appear at Nottingham Magistrate’s Court on February 14 if he wants to dispute the punishment.

Mr Wallington, a part-time school worker from Walsall, says he “feels like a criminal” despite doing “nothing wrong.”

He said: “I’m an advanced driver and I’ve always had a completely clean license. I pride myself on being a very good driver.

“I’m being treated like a criminal without having done anything wrong. I don’t think it’s just. If it was speeding and caught I would understand.

“If there were no other vehicles involved I would probably have put my hands up and admitted it.

“Instead I’m being punished for doing the right thing. The alternative was blocking and delaying an ambulance responding to an emergency.

“I can’t deny that I was one second late going through the traffic lights, but my point is there were very legitimate mitigating circumstances.”

He explained that he “saw the ambulance behind me in my mirror, so I moved over to the left.”

“I was looking at them in my wing mirror, I had taken my eyes off of the traffic lights as I was obviously distracted by the approaching emergency vehicle,” he continued.

“I went through the traffic lights 1.2 seconds too late, they were on green as the ambulance approached, and the punishment was three points and a £100 fine.”

He said that he would “still do it now” though, and would “adhere to to all the things” he was taught on his advanced driving test 20 years ago.

Wallington plans to write to the court as he is unable to make the hearing date in February.

He plans to reiterate his points and tell then he has been “unjustly treated.”

He added: “I watch quite a lot of Police Interceptors and I’m always amazed how lenient they are after their crimes.

“They get maybe six points on their licence. I just think ‘well, they could have killed people’.

“They’re criminals, I’m not a criminal. It’s excessive.”

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