Did you know that traffic lights will be 152 years old in 2020? We drive through them almost daily, and hardly give them a second thought. Then again, traffic lights were not so common back in the day. We almost never question traffic light rules, but at some point they were a novel concept. We take them for granted now, and most organisations would give their right arm to implement change. But what are these rules? What are the consequences of breaking them?
Flashing yellow light indicates that you should slow down before proceeding
A flashing yellow traffic light is a warning to proceed with caution, not a full stop. The light will not go red until the phase of the signal returns to green, so you should slow down and be cautious. A flashing yellow arrow means to yield to oncoming traffic, pedestrians, and vehicles. However, do not overextend yourself in stopping time. Instead, follow the rules of defensive driving.
Similarly, a flashing yellow arrow is a warning to slow down and prepare for a stop. The yellow arrow indicates that the protected turning time period has ended and that the next traffic signal light is green, red, or both. If you see a flashing yellow arrow, stop. It also means to yield to pedestrians or vehicles that may be crossing the intersection. In general, a flashing yellow arrow means you should slow down and stop.
Solid green light indicates that the traffic on the opposite side of the road has halted
If you’re driving and see a solid green light on the traffic signal, you can proceed to turn left. However, it’s crucial to note that the light could change to amber anytime. That means you need to yield to all opposing traffic unless you see another traffic light that says a turn is prohibited. Before turning left, you must also check for any other traffic lights that indicate a prohibition on turning left.
When driving on a street or highway, you need to obey the signs posted on the pavement. You can’t cross a solid yellow line unless you’re trying to pass another vehicle. But if you’re driving on a one-way street or a divided highway, you can cross a solid yellow line, but you must stay to the right of the lane.
Stopping at a red light
The rule to stop at a red light in traffic lights varies from state to state, but in general, you need to stop at a red light to move forward. However, you can get a citation for running a red light, so be sure to follow the rules. Depending on the jurisdiction, it may be possible to get a warning rather than a ticket for this offense.
A steady red light means you must stop. Before entering the intersection, you must yield to pedestrians or vehicles and stop. You can make a left turn at this time, but you must stop before proceeding. You can also make a right turn if the intersection is clear and the light is green. However, if the intersection is not clear, you should use caution and yield to other drivers. If you’re unsure about the traffic light rules, try reading this article.
Giving way to pedestrians
If a traffic light indicates that it is safe for vehicles to proceed, give way to pedestrians as soon as possible. If a pedestrian is awaiting a crosswalk signal, drivers must stop. If the pedestrian has walked more than half the way across the intersection, they may proceed. However, if they are crossing the street on a green light, they must give way to pedestrians as soon as possible.
When approaching a ‘Stop’ sign or line, drivers must stop completely and give way to pedestrians. If the ‘Stop’ sign is not marked by a line, drivers must stop as close to the intersection as possible. If the sign is painted on a raised pavement, drivers must also stop before crossing it. In addition, drivers must give way to bicycle riders and moped drivers. They must yield to pedestrians as they cross the intersection.
Turning left on a solid green light
When a solid green traffic signal appears, drivers may proceed to make a left turn. However, they must yield to opposing traffic. This procedure is known as “unprotected left turns.” At certain intersections, a yielding sign will be posted and drivers should be aware of the yielding protocol. If you are uncertain of the appropriate protocol for a given intersection, consult a traffic law book.
Usually, the left turn is forbidden under a solid red traffic signal. There are some exceptions to this rule. In some states, it is permissible to turn left into a one-way street while a solid red signal is in place. When facing a “NO TURN ON RED” signal, drivers must wait for the light to change before making a left turn. A red arrow indicating a right turn is not a signal to make a left turn.