I received a ‘warning notice’ in the mail today because I apparently ran a red light in Washington, DC, on October 23 at 3rd St. and New York Ave. NW. Thankfully it’s just a warning, not an actual citation, but I’ll presumably get a real citation if I ever do it again.

At first I doubted it . . . the photos could easily be interpreted as me stopping at a red light and then making a legal right turn on red (which is something I do a lot). However, after logging in and viewing the video, it’s clear that I did actually run the light. Oops.

In my defense, there was no reason for the light to be red. As you can see in the video, there weren’t any cars coming, and the light wasn’t even long enough to clear the backlog off 3rd St. (one or two cars ahead of me got caught too; look closely to see the camera flashes). I had also just spent about 10 minutes trying to get through this idiotic intersection since, for some reason, you can’t make a left from New Jersey (heading north) onto New York (heading west). I had to do this stupid U-turn maneuver onto 3rd and go through three traffic lights to make a simple left turn. And, of course, DC’s traffic lights are notoriously hard to see against the city backdrop.

Not making excuses, just laying out the mitigating factors. I have a nearly-spotless driving record and take driving very seriously (and am quick to criticize others). In the interest of expressing a bit of humility, here is evidence that even Scott Bradford makes an occasional mistake behind the wheel. Mitigating factors or not, I should have stopped at the light as the law requires. If this had been a real citation, I would have paid without contesting.