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Traffic Lights, when working correctly, all users can count on. There are established rituals to follow, and for the most part, everyone is satisfied. In cases when there is a breakdown, things can get complicated fast. First responders should prioritise traffic lights during a power outage to ensure public safety. But what if there are other issues with the signal? This is when I’ve found that who has priority can become confusing.
Various countries around the globe have traffic light systems in place to ensure safety when pedestrians and motorists share a shared space. Traffic lights are commonly found at intersections, with traffic moving in all directions, such as large arterial roadways.
Most novice drivers are familiarised with traffic signals before they even begin studying for their driving test. However, some traffic lights might not be so standard to you.
There are different traffic lights globally, and they all serve other purposes.
The most common type is the stoplight or the red light. The yellow light is used to warn drivers about an upcoming change in speed limit or other hazards ahead on the road. The green light is used to indicate that it’s safe to proceed with caution, but it’s also used as a way for pedestrians and cyclists to cross roads without waiting for cars to stop at red lights.
The traffic light sequence is a common way for learners to know what to do at intersections. However, this can be a significant pitfall for learners. It’s critical to be comfortable with the traffic light pattern and address it.
Traffic Light Sequence
The most important thing is to know the meaning of the traffic signal sequence so you can determine when it is safer to change lanes. For example, if it’s green but no cars are coming, or if it flashes green and then red quickly, this means it is safe to cross.
However, you don’t always know what the traffic light sequence means as a learner driver. This can be confusing for new drivers because they have never seen a traffic light before and don’t know what each colour means – this can be especially hard for learner drivers who live in areas without street lights!
Red Traffic Lights
When the signal lights flickered red, and you have to pause at a stop line, keep in mind that other road users must also come to a halt. All road users, including bicycles, are subject to this rule. Wait for the turning lights to turn green before using your handbrake.
Red and Amber Traffic Lights
Every time the traffic light changes, the traffic lights shift from red to amber. The red and amber LEDs suggest that the signals will turn green shortly.
While you’re driving, shift back into first gear and prepare to stand at red indicators; but don’t cross the threshold limit until the traffic lights turn green.
Drivers must understand what these traffic lights represent and how to react when they appear on the road.
Green Traffic Lights
This is a scenario that many drivers face in their daily commute. It’s a common occurrence where traffic slows down, and you’re stuck behind someone who’s stopped at the red light.
The most accessible approach to prevent this situation is to be mindful of the traffic around you and double-check that it is safe before pulling off. The green light means that the path ahead is clear and it’s safe for you to go. It should also give other drivers time to move off and leave enough space for you to pull off as well.
Amber Traffic Lights
Amber traffic lights indicate that they are ready to turn red. It would be beneficial if you paused unless it was necessary.
Amber is a colour between yellow and red that indicates caution or warning. Amber traffic lights are used in many countries worldwide, and they suggest that the lights are about to change from green to red.
What if Traffic Lights Are Out of Order?
Traffic lights are also frequently used on pedestrian crossings to guide humans safely and efficiently across an intersection. When traffic lights are out of service, intersections with stop signs may be complicated since laws typically dictate who gets precedence.
Most novice drivers are accustomed to traffic signals before studying for their driving test. But, what happens when the traffic lights don’t work? If you get caught in a situation where no person controls the traffic lights, you have to take responsibility and make sure that you stop at a safe distance.
Whenever a junction’s signals are out of commission, regard it as an unsigned intersection, where no one has precedence. Who goes first and who goes afterwards has no established order.
If someone is waiting to turn right onto the main road when the lights are out, they should stop and prepare to give way or stop. If someone is turning left onto the main road, but the red light isn’t showing, they can go first and then stop if necessary on the far side of the junction.
Traffic Light Cameras
The cameras at traffic lights are mounted to record and issue a notice to the driver if they break the law. Some signals are equipped with cameras. The scanners will most likely be installed in high-traffic or high-risk places.
Most traffic lights in the UK have been fitted with red-light and speed camera technology designed to reduce accidents at intersections. However, these cameras can sometimes flash unexpectedly, which means that you may not know you’ve been caught until you receive a notice (NIP).
The best way to avoid these flashes is by slowing down before reaching an intersection and making sure your vehicle is entirely stopped before turning on your vehicle’s hazard warning lights.
It can be easy to be in a rush when you are on the move, but it’s essential to take that extra second to ensure that you do all that you can not rush other people, especially if they may be more vulnerable than you. Be aware of the dangers around you, and don’t forget that everyone has the right to cross the road safely.