Traffic lights

Illustration of a traffic light with the top light coloured red

Red means stop.

Wait behind the stop line. Do not go through the intersection.

Illustration of a traffic light with the middle light coloured yellow (amber)

Yellow (amber) means stop.

You can only enter the intersection if you are so close that sudden braking might cause a crash.

Illustration of a traffic light with the bottom light coloured green

Green means proceed through the intersection carefully.

You must give way to:

  • other vehicles and pedestrians in the intersection, including turning traffic
  • pedestrians if you are turning to the right or left
  • vehicles from the opposite direction, if you are turning right.

Flashing yellow circle or arrow

You may proceed with caution – obeying the give way to the right rule or the T-intersection rule.

Turning traffic lights

Some traffic lights have arrows to control traffic turning right or left. If you are in a turning lane then the arrows will tell you when you can go or stop in the same way as a standard traffic light does.

Illustration of a traffic light with the top light coloured red and the bottom turning light coloured green

Green arrow means you can only turn in that direction you must not go straight ahead.

Illustration of a traffic light with the bottom light coloured green and the top turning light coloured red

Red arrow means you must wait behind the stop line until the arrow turns green, even if there is no traffic on the road.

Illustration of a traffic light with the bottom light coloured green and the middle turning light coloured yellow

Yellow (amber) means stop. You can enter the intersection only if you are so close that sudden braking might cause a crash.

Turning right at traffic lights

  1. Enter the intersection as shown in the diagram below, unless a sign indicates otherwise or there is a red right turn arrow displayed.
  2. Wait until oncoming traffic clears or breaks and then turn safely.
  3. If the lights change to yellow or red while you are in the middle of the intersection, you are allowed continue to turn right.
  4. While you are waiting to turn be sure your front wheels and car are straight and not blocking the oncoming traffic.
  5. You must turn as soon as it is safe to do so.

see description below

This diagram shows the blue car entering the intersection to turn right at the traffic lights.

Signs at traffic lights

No right or left turn

Where a time period is displayed on or near the sign it shows when the sign applies – eg: 7am to 10am. If there is no time period the sign applies at all times.

Left turn permitted on red light

A left turn on a red light is only allowed at intersections where the sign has been placed - eg: 'Left turn on red after stopping'.

When turning left you must give way to all traffic approaching from the right.

U-turns

You must not make a U-turn at an intersection with traffic lights unless there is a 'U-turn Permitted' sign.

When making a U-turn you must give way to all other traffic and pedestrians and not unreasonably obstruct traffic approaching from the front or behind.

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Last updated: 28 November 2017