What is metrological control and why can it invalidate a fine for jumping a red light?

Running a red light is a serious violation which, according to article 65.4.k of the Traffic and Road Safety Law, is sanctioned with an amount of 200 euros and the loss of 4 points on your driving license. The DGT uses the so-called traffic lights photo red to detect and punish this type of infractions that must be reduced to a minimum, for the safety of pedestrians and drivers. Which does not mean that many drivers, especially if they receive a fine of this type, consider that it has been unfair or that these traffic lights are located with more intentions to collect revenue than for safety. However, for these sanctions to comply with the law They must meet certain requirements, something that does not always happen.

Photo red traffic lights have cameras to record when a vehicle passes a traffic light in its red phase. As a measuring device, are subject to the obligation of metrological control. That is, the verification and certification that the device meets the established standards and requirements regarding its operation and accuracy.

As indicated Maria de la Olawyer in the legal department of Pyramid Consulting, the lack of this metrological control of the device violates current regulations that in article 83.2 of the RDLeg. 6/2015 “expressly establishes that the instruments, devices or means and measurement systems that are used to file complaints for violations of traffic regulations, road safety and circulation of motor vehicles They will be subject to metrological control in the terms established by metrology regulations.”.

The lack of this metrological control, therefore, allows this type of fines to be appealed and There are numerous judicial rulings regarding the need for metrological control at photo-red traffic lights., according to the lawyer: “We must highlight the Supreme Court Ruling of November 12, 2015, which indicates that the photo-red system does make measurements. Specifically, it operates on the measurement of temporary traffic light cycles to detect when the red phase has not been respected. And this also implies that it is related to the light intensity of the traffic light, so should not be excluded from metrological control”.

Another example is that of the Contentious-Administrative Court No. 1 of Madrid, in a ruling of 10-9-2014, which also stated that the traffic light devices “should not be excluded from metrological control by the magnitudes or elements that determine its operation.” And in another ruling obtained by Pyramid Consulting from the Contentious-Administrative Court No. 09 of Madrid on March 12, 2024, it is established that “the specific device for capturing the phases of the traffic light is a meter, which is why control certificate is necessary”.

Other reasons that may invalidate a fine for jumping a red light may be that there is no indication of the camera's situation, due to formal defects when communicating the penalty to the driver or poor quality of the images that capture the violation. . In any case, It is always better not to commit the violation than to have to resort to a fine.