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The Driver's Handbook

Traffic Lights

Traffic lights are installed to regulate traffic flow and make driving safe. Always approach them at a safe speed in case the signal changes before you reach the intersection.

The colour of the traffic light that faces you as you approach an intersection determines the action you must take.

If the traffic lights are not operating, obey the Give Way to the Right rule or the Give Way at a T-intersection rule, whichever is applicable.

see here

red lightRed Light

You must not enter the intersection. If a white line is painted on the road, you must stop your vehicle behind that line and as near as practicable to it. see Left Turn on Red Permitted after Stopping
red arrowRed Arrow

You must not enter the intersection if you intend to turn in the direction of the arrow. You must stop at the stop line. If the red arrow goes out, leaving only a green light, you may proceed if it is safe to do so, giving way to on-coming traffic (if turning right) and pedestrians crossing the road you are entering.
yellow lightYellow Light

This indicates that the lights are about to change to red. You must not enter the intersection unless you are so close to the stop line that you are unable to stop safely without entering the intersection or risking a rear-end crash with vehicles following you.
yellow arrowYellow Arrow

This indicates that the lights are about to change to red. If you intend to turn in the direction of the arrow, you must prepare to stop and not enter the intersection beyond the stop line unless you are unable to stop your vehicle safely. You may proceed if the yellow arrow goes out leaving only a green light and if it is safe to do so, but beware of oncoming vehicles.
green lightGreen Light

You may proceed through the intersection or turn right or left, if it is safe to do so, unless:
  • a sign or signal such as No Right Turn or No Entry prohibits that movement or
  • the intersection or the road beyond the intersection is blocked.

If turning right, enter beyond the stop line and proceed as far as possible without impeding oncoming vehicles. Wait within the intersection until it is safe to complete the turn.

You must also give way to:

  • other vehicles and pedestrians in the intersection after the last light change, including turning traffic
  • pedestrians, if you are turning to the right or left
  • vehicles from the opposite direction, if you are turning right.
green arrowGreen Arrow

A green arrow, either alone or with any other lights, means you may proceed in the direction of the arrow if safe to do so.

Left Turn on Red Permitted after StoppingLeft Turn on Red Permitted after Stopping

This is allowed only where there is a sign stating Left Turn on Red Permitted After Stopping. If there is such a sign, you can turn left before the traffic lights change to green - but only after stopping at the stop line and making sure it is safe to do so and giving way to all other vehicles and pedestrians.

Flashing Yellow Light or ArrowFlashing Yellow Light or Arrow

You may proceed with caution - obeying the Give Way rules for intersections not controlled by signs. see here

White 'T' or 'B' light

Indicates to a tram driver (T-light), or a bus driver (B-light), that the driver may proceed.

Red - Green Bicycle crossing lights with symbolsRed/Green Bicycle crossing lights with symbols

Indicate to bicycle riders whether they may proceed or must stop and wait.

U-turns

You must not make a U-turn at an intersection with traffic lights unless there is a U-turn Permitted sign. For information on U-turns. see here and here.

Red Light Cameras

Some intersections are equipped with cameras to photograph vehicles whose drivers commit an offence by crossing against the red light. Warning signs may appear before these intersections, but they are merely advisory. The absence of such signs does not prevent the operation of the red light camera or prosecution for disobeying the red light.

Vehicles and bicycle storage areas (bike box)

A bicycle storage area (bike box) is an area of a road before an intersection with traffic lights that has one or more bicycle symbols painted on it and that is between two parallel stop lines and opens out from a bicycle lane. The area may be painted green.

If there is a bicycle storage area before traffic lights that are showing a red light or red arrow the driver of a motor vehicle must not allow any part of the vehicle to enter the bicycle storage area.

A vehicle must not enter a bike storage area if the traffic lights are red
A vehicle must not enter a bike storage area if the traffic lights are red.

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