A Conversation for Traffic Lights in the UK

Bad Information - Amber Lights

Post 1


I am not sure where the author was getting his information on some parts of this article - but they are not particularly good sources. My main concern is this part:

"In the UK it is legal to pass through an amber light, as the phase exists to warn drivers not yet at the junction that they will have to stop."

The amber light is not legal to drive through in the UK. The official explanation in "The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002", section 36, subsection 1e states:

"the amber signal shall, when shown alone, convey the same prohibition as the red signal, except that, as respects any vehicle which is so close to the stop line that it cannot safely be stopped without proceeding beyond the stop line, it shall convey the same indication as the green signal or green arrow signal which was shown immediately before it;"

Therefore unless the vehicle is so close to the junction as to make stopping dangerous, the offense for driving through an amber light is the same as that of driving through a red light.

Section 36, subsection 1b covers emergency vehicles and also shows that the description in the article is not accurate:

"when a vehicle is being used for fire brigade, ambulance, bomb or explosive disposal, national blood service or police purposes and the observance of the prohibition conveyed by the red signal in accordance with sub-paragraph (a) would be likely to hinder the use of that vehicle for the purpose for which it is being used, then sub-paragraph (a) shall not apply to the vehicle, and the red signal shall convey the prohibition that that vehicle shall not proceed beyond the stop line in a manner or at a time likely to endanger any person or to cause the driver of any vehicle proceeding in accordance with the indications of light signals operating in association with the signals displaying the red signal to change its speed or course in order to avoid an accident;"

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Bad Information - Amber Lights

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