How To Approach Traffic Lights
Traffic Lights can be found at lots of different types of junctions, and on some pedestrian crossings. Sometimes you will see a warning sign on approach to a set of traffic light like the one below.
Most traffic lights, apart from pelican crossings, change in a certain order. The order is as follows:
Red – Means stop and wait at the first solid stop line.
Red and Amber – means STOP. You can prepare to move off, but do not set off until the green light shows
Green – you can go if it is safe to do so.
Amber – stop. If you pass the line at the lights and they change to amber, you can continue. If you are too close to the lights to stop safely, you can go through on amber.
Red – Stop
Treat junctions with traffic lights in a similar way to a regular junction. Use the MSM routine and slowdown as you get nearer to them.If you are approaching some traffic lights that are on green, expect them to change, especially if they have been on green a while.
Check your mirrors on approach to the lights so that you can decide how much to slow down. If the lights change just as you get there, but there is someone following very close behind, it may be safer to go through on amber.
If they are on red as you approach try to anticipate whether they are going to change to green.
Signal your intentions to change lane or to turn,and choose the correct lane or position as soon as possible. Always be prepared to stop and do not try to “beat the lights”.
Look for pedestrians who are already crossing and give way to them. Watch out for BOB (bloke on bike) passing you on the left and TOM (teenager on motorcycle) overtaking on the right.
Green Filter Arrows
Filter lights are green arrows that tell you to filter in the direction of that arrow. The main light may still be on red, but you can set off if you are going in the direction of that green arrow.
Be careful if the green arrow goes out as you approach the lights. The traffic opposite could get a green light once the filter goes out. You will need to give way as normal if for instance you are turning right at a crossroad controlled by lights.
Get the Light Signals Controlling Traffic PDF